New Florida law requires voters to show proof of citizenship, whiteness

21 Jul

Tallahassee—Governor Rick Scott today signed a tough new law aimed at ensuring a clean election in November. The law requires prospective voters to prove that they are citizens, white, and “ideally” wealthy.

“This law will ensure that Florida elections adhere to the principles set out by our founding fathers,” said Governor Scott at the signing ceremony. “Specifically, the principle that only white men owning property could vote.”

Around the country, senior Republican leaders were quick to endorse the new law. “This is an innovative approach to tackling the age-old problems of election fraud and Democrats,” said Governor Rick Perry. He vowed to immediately press for a similar law in Texas, promising to go even further. “Florida has those, you know, good Latinos, the Cubans,” he said. “Ours vote the wrong way. So we might have to do something about that.”

Many commentators questioned whether the explicitly racist law  might in fact be unconstitutional. “I think it violates every single amendment to the constitution,” noted Professor Sally McGonagle of the San Diego Law School, pointing to little-known clauses providing for the forced quartering of soldiers in citizens’ homes.

Republican leaders were unbowed. “Just because a couple of people on the Supreme Court say a law is unconstitutional doesn’t make it so,” said Senator Rand Paul (R—Kentucky).

At press time, there was no clarity on exactly what tests would be used to determine whiteness. “We’ve gone back to some of the pre-Civil-War state constitutions, and there are all sorts of creative ideas about family trees and callipers and whatnot,” said Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner. “Or we could give them a simple literacy test asking about the cast of Friends and who was on Conan O’Brien last night.”

Despite growing criticism from Democrats and civil libertarians, Detzner was unbowed. “After all,” he said, “it’s not like our voting system in Florida has ever caused any trouble.”

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