HB 1355, enacted by the state legislature’s Republican majority and signed by Gov. Rick Scott (R) — went into effect last July, putting major new restrictions on groups who work to register new voters. The law imposed harsh new restrictions on third-party voter registration groups, requiring them to turn in completed registration forms 48 hours — to the minute — after completion, or face fines.
U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle, in his May order, put the restrictions on hold, finding “the statute and rule impose burdensome record-keeping and reporting requirements that serve little if any purpose, thus rendering them unconstitutional even to the extent they do not violate the [National Voter Registration Act].”
Unfortunately, before the law was struck down, it had a clear effect: driving down voter registration numbers in Florida. The Florida Times-Union reported this week that Democratic voter registration in the state “all but [dried] up” in the wake of the law’s enactment.