Judge ends voter registration fight; permanently removes GOP’s gathering restrictions from 2011

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The battle between voting rights groups and state election officials over get-out-the vote restrictions is officially over after a federal judge entered a final order that has been signed off on by both sides, reports the News Service of Florida.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle issued a permanent injunction preventing the state from adopting voter registration gathering restrictions that were put in place by lawmakers in 2011 as part of a larger elections bill. Hinkle’s ruling, which was agreed to by all parties, solidifies a preliminary opinion rendered in May in which the federal judge said major provisions of the law were unworkable and therefore unconstitutional. The lawsuit was brought by a group of voting rights organizations that challenged restrictions, which included reducing the time limit for turning in voter registration from 10 days to 48 hours, which Hinkle said would unduly burden a voter’s right to cast a ballot.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.