Teacher calls new Florida voting law ‘crazy’

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Tuesday, November 01, 2011 at 3:32 pm | More from The Florida Independent
The Associated Press is reporting that the latest teacher embroiled in possible legal troubles with Florida’s new voting law is calling the measure “crazy.” The teacher could face a $1,000 fine for not mailing her students’ voter registration applications on time.

The AP reports:

Dawn Quarles says there’s no way she could have gotten them mailed to the Supervisor of Elections office in time.

The Pace High School teacher may be the first person fined for violating Florida’s new election law. The old law gave third parties 10 days to turn in applications.

The Republican-sponsored law has drawn fire from critics who say it will suppress voting by minorities, young people and the elderly who often tend to vote Democratic.

Quarles agrees.

She called the new law “crazy” and said it’s an example of why the United States has the worst voter turnout among the Western democracies.

The Daytona Beach News-Journal recently reported that New Smyrna Beach high school teacher Jill Cicciarelli could also face legal problems because she preregistered high school students to vote without registering with the state beforehand.

Policy experts say the new law could spell trouble for the youth vote in Florida. Estelle Rogers, the director of advocacy with Project Vote, told The Florida Independent that if high schools were to stop preregistering 16- and 17-year-olds because of the new laws, it would be a huge step back for the state. According to Rogers, Florida’s preregistration program has “been shown to get young people,” a demographic that is notorious for low turnout in elections, ”enthusiastic about voting.”

Florida is currently waiting for a ruling on controversial aspects of the law from a court in the District of Columbia.

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