The party in power can do two things to remain in power. First they can pursue policies that benefit the majority of voters in their district. Failing that they can restrict the voting rights of groups that do not benefit from their policies. Florida is the place where Al Gore recieved the majority of votes but the conservative activist supreme court placed George Bush in the White House. Now in over 22 states republican legislatures are passing laws to restrict American's right to vote.( see Think Progress article).
But Florida by far seems the most extreme. Florida prevents anyone who has moved or changed their names from updating their information at the polling place and voting. Those people, mostly recently married women and college students would instead be given provisional ballots. The problem with provisional ballots is mostly they are not counted. The bill cuts Florida's early voting time in half from 2 weeks to one week. Finally, they make voter registration drives difficult if not impossible by imposing fines for failing to turn in registration forms within 48 hours or face per signature fines. Participants in voter registration drives must also be sworn in and entered into a statewide database. Is this the American way or instead is it the Republican way? With very high unemployment, a crushing foreclosure crisis and a health care problem the Republican houses in Florida choose to legislate voting restrictions?
This segment from the Rachel Maddow show is excellent
UPDATE: bill has passed both Republican controlled houses in Florida