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Federal Judge Blocks, Skewers Florida's Third-Party Voter Registration Restrictions

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Newscom

Hinkle said the statute and rules regarding third-party voter registration were "not well crafted" and "virtually unintelligible, close to the point, if not past the point, at which a statute -- especially one that regulates First Amendment rights and is accompanied by substantial penalties -- becomes void for vagueness."

Voting-rights groups and Democratic lawmakers, even more fired up in recent weeks over Scott's decision to purge the state's voter rolls of eligible voters, welcomed the decision.

"This law clearly was designed to stop people from voting, and I'm glad to see the judge's ruling," Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) said in a statement.

"This is a huge win and sends a strong signal to officials in Florida and other states that if you erect barriers to registering voters, we will fight back," Rock the Vote President Heather Smith said in a statement. "The ruling today serves as a reminder that voter registration activities are a fundamental and protected part of our democracy. We are hopeful that our volunteers can now get back to the civic engagement work we've been doing successfully around the country for two decades: engaging young people in their communities and educating them on the electoral process."

The League of Women Voters dropped their registration drive over the restrictions last summer. The Justice Department objected to the restrictions under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act back in March and said the law might have been passed with the purpose of discriminating against minority voters.

Hinkle's order is embedded below.

Florida Voter Registration