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ACLU sues to block voting law

By Tom Flanigan

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wfsu/local-wfsu-971896.mp3

Tallahasse, FL – Several voters and voter rights groups are suing to overturn the state of Florida's new election law. Tom Flanigan reports the suit was filed today Friday in federal court in South Florida.

Florida Secretary of State Kurt Browning says the new law took effect on May nineteenth, the day Governor Scott signed it. But American Civil Liberties Union of Florida Director Howard Simon says that runs afoul of existing federal and state law.

"Application of new election laws are contingent upon pre-clearance by the Justice Department pursuant to the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Thus the effective date of any such laws are delayed until such pre-clearance is obtained."

Pre-clearance is federal permission for certain states, including Florida, to change their voting laws. Florida election officials only applied for that permission on the same day Governor Scott signed the bill. The ACLU and other plaintiffs contend that permission isn't likely to be granted, saying the new law will discourage minority voter participation.