OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
A federal judge in New Mexico has given the OK on a conservative initiative to partially publish voter records nationwide.
U.S. District Court Judge James Browning issued an order on Friday that stopped prosecutors in New Mexico from pursuing charges of election code violations against the people who created VoteRef.com, The Associated Press reported.
The VoteRef.com website provides searchable access to voter registration records by name and street addresses, often indicating when people voted in past elections. The online records do not say for which candidates the people voted or how they voted on initiatives. Party affiliation is listed for voters in some states but not all.
The Voter Reference Foundation that created the website advocates for voting accountability by making voter information more accessible to the public. The group said that it would start posting the voting information of New Mexico voters online starting on Thursday.
The decision does not apply to those voters who are part of New Mexico’s program protecting the addresses of victims of domestic violence and stalking.
The judge’s order blocks the prosecution of the creators of the website because, the judge said, New Mexico state law “does not prohibit Voter Reference — or any organization — from posting voter data online.”
The creators of the website are “substantially likely to succeed on the merits of their claim that the Secretary of State’s referral of Voter Reference to the Attorney General for criminal prosecution and her public statements about the referral is an unconstitutional prior restraint on protected speech,” the judge said.
Former GOP Senate candidate Doug Truax said that his group “won’t be intimidated by politicians who, for some reason, don’t want to give the people of their state easy access to election records they pay for.”
@AP: A conservative-backed initiative to publish voter registration records from across the country online for public consumption can move forward over the objections of New Mexico election regulators, a federal judge has ordered in a preliminary opinion. https://t.co/Moa6moMtsH
— Christina A. Cassidy (@AP_Christina) July 26, 2022
The Republican Party has been dominating the state of Florida, led by GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis, and that trend has continued.
Republicans have defeated Democrats two years in a row in voter registration, this time by 175,911 more registered voters in total, according to the Florida Division of Elections, The Daily Caller reported.
There are 5,135,749 registered Republicans compared to 4,959,838 registered Democrats in the Sunshine State as of May 31, according to official data from the Florida Division of Elections. The Florida Republican Party has added 82,900 more voters to its ranks since the last major U.S. election cycle in 2020.
The registration numbers reflect Florida’s gradual shift toward becoming a solidly red state. After the 2022 election, it’s likely Florida may no longer be a swing state, Politico reported.
Hispanic voters have steadily been shifting toward the Republican Party, as demonstrated by the recent victory of Texas Republican Rep. Mayra Flores and former President Trump’s support among members of the Hispanic community. In April, polling showed that only a quarter of Hispanics approved of Biden, with many citing the poor economy as reasoning for their disapproval of him and the Democratic Party, The Daily Caller News Foundation reported.
It is not often that Democrats surrender on anything, but it has gotten so tough for them in the state of Florida that they appear to be done even trying.
The state of Gov. Ron DeSantis has Democrats “stumped” as Democrats admits they are getting their “butts kicked” in the Sunshine State, Politico reported.
“If you were to ask me, does Florida give you as good a return on investment as other places? Clearly right now it does not,” Democratic National Committee Finance Director Chris Korge said. “We got our butts kicked in Florida recently. Our butts kicked.”
He said that his job is to build infrastructure in the state and national groups would not be wise to not attempt to find some type of inroads.
“I think the White House absolutely thinks we need to be engaged there now rather than waiting until 2024 when it becomes more expensive to stop [DeSantis],”he said to Politico. “We are going to be engaged in the midterm and, you can quote me on this, the DNC is absolutely not giving up on Florida.”