Last January, Florida implemented a new law that requires the state to reject voter registration applications if the information provided doesn't match driver's license or Social Security records. The law was crafted with help from Hans von Spakovsky, who has been accused by his former Justice Department colleagues of being "the point person for undermining the Civil Rights Division's mandate to protect voting rights."
This week, the Southwest Florida News-Press published an analysis of the law's impact, finding that it resulted in the rejection of voting applications from 14,000 Floridians over the past 21 months -- three-quarters of them minorities:
Blacks were 6 1/2 times more likely than whites to be rejected ... Hispanics were more than 7 times more likely to be failed.
Though state law requires notification of these "lost" voters, most contacted by the paper said they were unaware of the problem.
The same month Florida's new voting law went into effect, President Bush named von Spakovsky to the Federal Elections Commission by recess appointment. But his official confirmation to the post is stymied in the Senate due to the vocal opposition of Sens. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.), who have called his nomination "just another example of this administration putting the fox in charge of the hen house."