Stephen Colbert Mocks Florida Voter Registration Laws

March 3, 2012
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Florida laws discourage teenage voter registration.

Dawn Charles, a high school teacher in Pensacola, Florida, has helped her students register to vote for several years.  Rather than thank her for engaging her students and getting them involved in the political process, the State of Florida fined her.  In 2011, Florida passed a law that requiring all third-party voter registration groups, like Rock the Vote, to register with the state and to turn in all new voter registration forms within 48 hours.  Violators are subject to large fines.  As opposed to claims that these laws are designed to reduce fraud, many think that the true goal is to discourage younger people, who may have more progressive tendencies, from voting.  Ms. Charles, who teaches government and politics, had been trying to encourage her students to register to vote before the 2012 Presidential elections.  Charles said, “They text me, they say ‘I got my voter card in the mail today!’ In September, Charles helped her students register.  On Halloween however, she was informed that she had been in violation of the law, and she received a $1000 fine.  Recently, Ms.Charles was featured on The Colbert Report, in an satirical episode of his “People Who are Destroying America” series.  Overall, Charles says, “For me, as a teacher, this is huge.  I have an obligation to show my kids that you can be bullied by your government, if you let them.  This law is completely unconstitutional.”

What do you think?  Do you think the new law is unconstitutional?

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One Comment

  1. Great website. I hope you and yours can mobilize the youth vote. With the hardball attempts at fearmongering among low information voters and outright voter suppression, the right wing may have a shot.