U.S. Senator, Florida
Volusia County teacher Jill Cicciarelli could be fined up to $1,000 for the horrendous crime of…wait for it…wait for it…helping register high school seniors to vote.
Ms. Cicciarelli isn’t alone. Gov. Scott’s administration has investigated at least six other teachers across Florida who may have committed similar illegal acts.1 Teachers are running afoul of Florida’s new Voter Suppression Act, a law pushed by Scott and his extremist legislative allies that enacts onerous new rules for civic groups and community leaders (like teachers) who register their fellow Floridians to vote. This cannot stand.
Florida teachers are under attack from every side, facing layoffs, pay cuts and ever dwindling budgets. Sadly, these dedicated professionals have grown accustomed to paying for school supplies out of their own pockets but threatening them with fines for encouraging civic involvement is obscene. Draconian new rules on “third party” voter registration campaigns including fines, registration requirements and strict registration form turn-in time limits is not about protecting voters as Gov. Scott’s administration purports. This new law is about suppressing the votes of young people and minorities.2
Voting experts at Project Vote recently told The Florida Independent that if high schools were to stop pre-registering 16 and 17-year-olds because of the new laws it would be a huge step back for the state. According to Project Vote, Florida’s pre-registration program has “been shown to get young people,” a demographic that is notorious for low turnout in elections, “enthusiastic about voting.”3
Stand with our teachers, stand with our youth, stand up for democracy; sign the petition and forward this alert to friends and family today.
Mark, Ray, Jon and the rest of the team
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