Florida teacher could face thousands of dollars in fines for helping students register to vote


Whatever you do, Florida teachers, do NOT, I repeat, do NOT try to educate your own students. Especially if you're trying to teach them to participate in democracy. Specifically, responsible, eager kids involved in student government who are dedicated to pro-active leadership. And particularly about how to get out there and, you know, register to vote so they have an actual say in what happens in their own lives.

That's wrong. Very wrong.

The Daytona Beach News-Journal:

NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- The teacher who heads up New Smyrna Beach High School's student government association could face thousands of dollars in fines. Her transgression? Helping students register to vote.

Prepping 17-year-olds for the privileges and responsibilities of voting in a democracy is nothing new for civics teachers, but when Jill Cicciarelli organized a drive at the start of the school year to get students pre-registered, she ran afoul of Florida's new and controversial election law.

And we here at TPC know about those nasty little new election laws, don't we? If you follow the News-Journal link, you can read about Florida's... because they care so much about non-existent voter fraud that they're making it difficult for legitimate voters to.... vote.

See? Irony isn't dead.

Before you ask, yes, the ACLU is suing.

The problem was that the teacher didn't register with the state before helping the students, and she failed to submit the necessary forms on time. Of course, that is a deterrent, and that's the point.

Students tend to vote Democratic, and in Florida, apparently that is simply unacceptable. The answer in that state and so many others? Suppress the vote with superfluous laws that target the poor, students, the elderly, minorities, and rural voters. It's all the rage!

Keyword: Rage.

  • Not so much:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eight-hour_day#United_States Unions pushed
    for it: In 1864, the eight-hour day quickly became a central demand of
    the Chicago labor movement.

    Had labor not demanded it, it would not have happened.

  • CherylJocobs

    the 40 hr work week was started by Henry Ford... not a union.

  • Anonymous

     What you call "corruption" others call voter registration of American citizen fully eligible to vote whose right is guaranteed by law, uphelp in the courts,  and was defended to the death by men and women who came before them.  If you think that is corrupt, so be it, but I strongly disagree.

  • Anonymous

     If I understand your version of democracy correctly, you would deny certain people the privilege of voting because you disagree with them.  Next, would you send them off to the Gulag?

    ACORN, btw, is not "in power."  If you wish to examine who is in power look at the top 150 transnational corporations and follow the economic power they as a collective group yield.  Think about this for one second -- do you really think ACORN and Exxon Mobile have political power on par with one another?

  • She was neither stupid nor selfish. She was, in fact, UNselfish for trying to register these kids.

  •  The ACLU is right to sue, but this teacher was stupid or selfish and neither is defensible under the circumstances as portrayed.  Teachers are supposed to know what they're doing so that it gets done effectively. If she really wanted them to be registered, she should have learned the rules and obeyed them.  Politically active people aren't ignorant of the law, and just getting hold of the proper forms entails some kind of education into the pertinent laws and regulations.

    If she wanted to make a statement, this isn't how to do it.  Making teenagers an unwitting part of her act of civil disobedience, no matter how justified,  is morally wrong.

  • jackdetate

    Teachers across the nation need to take political action.
    Their students and they are under attack by political policies specifically
    designed to disenfranchise them and restrict their civil rights. Fight back;
    it's the patriotic thing to do.

  • Rubber777

    You people live in the laughing stock of the world 🙂

  • Grdnarlt63

    Voter fraud is nearly non-existent. Election fraud, however is quite well and thriving wherever there are red-shifted voting machines. Does it not seem curious that exit polls are no longer anywhere near as accurate as they were before electronic voting machines?

  • Anonymous

    I'm sick of republicans calling dems "traitors" while attacking every decision made by the judiciary and the elected authorities. 

  • GCA

    The crap in them does.

  • kesmarn

    Confederate thought patterns die hard.

  • Vote these fuckers OUT!

  • Anonymous

    Those that can, do.

  • One: They're not "illegals". They're people.

    Two: Sick liberal mind? Read our guidelines. That was uncalled for. If you disagree, drop that kind of b.s. or you get deleted.

  • Bellmeister

    hahha..omg...1) because people are more honest than given credit for...wow...sick liberal mind.
    People should have to show ID to vote when there are umpteen millions of illegals running around...has everyone lost there frkn minds?

  • Schemata FTW.

  • Yeah, the same. Remember when Bush got rid of DADT? When Bush signed some measure of banking reform? When Bush signed Hate Crimes legislation? When Bush issued an Exec order ending torture? When Bush signed an exec order closing gitmo (that 96 senators threw a wrence in)? When Bush signed significant Health Insurance reform? When Bush opened up more stem cell research? 


  • This is a systemic, concerted effort - not just in Florida, everywhere - by the GOP to suppress voting. Period. It is the dripping, nefarious lie of "small government," which actually just means small in *intelligence, not actual size. All evidence supports it, and I dare anyone (Cheryl? any proof?) to show that I'm wrong on this. I'm an independent voter and this type of thing disgusts me - and hopefully puts off other independents, too, to the detriment of Willard, Herman, Mickey Mouse or whoever the GOP nominates. On the flip side, Rick Scott is a walking, talking, murmuring advertisement for Democratic principles - and we have to stand against him. I'm just sorry the folks of Florida have to put up with that wackadoodle.

  • Anonymous

    And how do you imagine people voted before there was such a thing as picture ID? Women used to be denied the right to vote by virtue of not owning property & being considered chattel. Maybe we should return to that? Would that not deny you of your right to vote? The point is that every American has the RIGHT to vote! This (in the article) is just one of many attempts at voter suppression.

  • Anonymous

    BINGO! Amazing how ignorant some in the private sector can be about working conditions, and just how those came to be.

  • Ewsaunier

    The past has shown , majority of Repub. "Vote" Dems and Independents don't . Until we change this one sided hatred toward Americas economic poverty, the greedy bigoted, self norcistic brain feed by hate mongering parents, will continue . Get out and Vote the evil back under their rock.

  • kesmarn

    Now that we have a Republican regime in Ohio, voter suppression is in full swing. I am college-educated, have a photo ID, can drive and STILL may have trouble voting. For starters, they've changed my precinct polling place 3 times in the last 3 years! 

    When I went to the State website today to find out where I vote THIS year (since they're no longer ALLOWED to send out those little postcards that tell you), I entered my address and they said there WAS NO SUCH PLACE. (It's a highly Dem area.) If I go to the centralized early voting location, they're NOT SUPPOSED TO TELL ME what precinct I'm in. I'm supposed to GUESS and if I get it wrong, they throw out my vote. 

    Nice work Tea Party Koch-heads!

  • same difference, just a diff name

  • Cite?

    No, because you don't have one. Voter fraud is one of the many fever-dreams of the Fox "News" set. A story told to gullible people, so they will blame anyone but those responsible for their ills. 

  • The GOP ought to just pass a law that prohibits voting if you're not a registered GOP'er.

  • Stimulus (done before PPACA) created or saved 2-3 million jobs, according to a plethora of economists/studies. GM is thriving, parts suppliers are thriving, so yes, indeed, Detroit is coming back. Still work to be done, tho. 

    Also, the PPACA created some 44,000 jobs in September alone, and the health care sector is growing at a faster rate than non-health related jobs. 

  • Voter Fraud is a non-issue. People have the right to VOTE. NO ID law can restrict that. Good GO, how did we ID people before there were CAMERAS?!? 1) You have YOUR polling place. 2) If you're NOT on voter rolls, you give NAME & ADDRESS. 3) If someone ELSE tries to use YOUR name to VOTE, THEN YOU SHOW ID and/or notify election authority. This system has worked for centuries, stop buying into GOP crap.

  • ACORN didn't do jack. A part-time employee working for ACORN did, and was fired. And registering to vote and, you know, actually VOTING are two different things. Mickey Mouse didn't vote. 

  • "they have never done for me, "

    Except for the fact that you don't have to work 80 hours a week for $2 an hour, while pregnant, in a sweatshop that will kill you, no, they haven't done a thing. 

  • Anonymous

    Happened in FL, not TX

  • Anonymous

    Glad you saw this. I posted it to twitter yesterday a few times but got no bites or retweets on the issue which I found shocking! What is civics if not the teaching of your duty as a citizen including VOTING?! I was a voter registration volunteer in 2008. Walked hundreds of miles in the Florida heat to help get people registered. We never pushed a Party or candidate, and many people were grateful for the convenience of having us come to them, especially elderly, handicapped, ppl with with no transportation, and young people who hadn't thought much about it or hadn't the information to know where/how to register. Now I can't just grab a pile of forms and go do this for people. Now I have to be registered, and turn all forms in every 48 hours. This is attempt at voter suppression, nothing more. There was NO credible proof put forth by anyone in any county that voter registration fraud had occured in any significant numbers, and what they tried to label fraud were errors, not attempts at fraud.

  • Joel West

    I believe the point is this:

    1: Florida a traditionally Republican state, is erecting barriers to possible Democrativ votes BY ANY MEANS NECESARY be they legal or illegal. Or have we forgotten the way Jeb helped W steal the election?

    2: The Republicans have admitted by these actions that they don't really care for democracy. They prefer tyrrany.

    3: I want a cookie.

  • WHY do #RW'rs have such a problem with freedom to VOTE? I don't mean the #GOPmemeMachine, but REAL people. Who ARE these people who are so gullible as to believe any and ALL lies spewed by politicians who have ONE goal, and ONLY one goal: STAY in POWER. PERIOD. Wake-up, because it'll be YOUR RIGHTS on the chopping block NEXT. @Aqua_Buddah

  • Spjamesb

    40 hour work weeks. Workplace safety and much much more. No unions didn't do a thing for you. Maybe you should have paid more attention in history class. Your brain isn't going to help you one bit when the Republicans and their corporate backers strip you of all your rights.

  • Commander, wrong re: Bus, car or your feet will get you there and there's the Absentee Ballot (no need to leave home).

    My elderly father can't drive, walk to a bus, climb up the steps in a bus, or withstand a bus trip, and he's not alone. If you don't own a car, can't afford to buy a car, or maintain a car, that takes care of that argument.
    Feet? Walk miles? REALLY?


    Absentee ballots are an option, but I'd have to research any problems with those before responding to that.

  • ACORN was cleared of the charges by the same people that put them in power. A voter ID is a Drivers License or Photo ID card everyone has at least one of these. Bus, car or your feet will get you there and there's the  Absentee Ballot (no need to leave home). Knocking off Dem voters? That's a good start..... Obama get's the first vote off the Island

  • Anonymous

    I have never been asked for any form of ID when voting. Just go in and give name and address to the poll worker.  It' s a system that works because 1) people are more honest than given credit for 2) people are more lazy than is appreciated.  In the decades I have been voting, the issue of fraud has never arisen.

  • Goober

    Of course he did. If you havent been brainwashed by the false left-right paradigm  you'd have noticed by now that Obama is nothing more than bushes 3rd term. The two are functionally the same president.

  • Frank Canaan

    Last time I checked, toilet bowls dont spin. Sorry.

  • Cheryl, you're spamming the comment section. You clearly haven't done research either. Read my post. Voter ID costs money, you need transportation to get there, and it's intended to knock off Dem voters. This is why the GOP governors are so anxious to enforce it. Voter fraud is nearly non-existent.

    Btw, ACORN was cleared of all charges. Please try reading up on a topic before you come here and spam.

    You will be deleted if you continue to bait and spread misinformation. Read our guidelines.

  • Anonymous

    i guess about as normal as ACORN registering Mickey Mouse etc... for the 2008 elections. if you cant see that it goes both ways you have your blinders on. the only one that cares about you is you. your elected officials only care about getting reelected.

  • Anonymous

    organized labor can kiss my a$$.  they have never done for me, and i dont want them to.  they can stay up north and down here in the south i will use my brain to maintain my position at the company.

  • Anonymous

    damn... at least there is one person that knows what is going on in our political circles.

  • Anonymous

    if you dont have picture id by the time you are 18 then you should go out and get one.  not a difficult thing to do.  i always have been asked to show my id when i vote, i cant imagine any other way.  or we all could just leave that one place and go to another voting place and cast yet another vote. im not saying i like the other requirements for this teacher, but come on!, you dont have a picture id and you want to vote? i dont trust strangers and i dont trust anyone that says you shouldn't need an id to vote

  • Anonymous

    Detroit is doing soooo good with the Democrat leadership.  Yep, uninformed children voting has never had unintended consequences.  Jobs, Jobs, Jobs... but I think I will pass this Health Care bill first.  Good job there right?

  • And what tactics would those be? Please provide a link and a source.

  • corvetterich

    I love seeing the democrats whine whenever their own tactics are used against them. Remember the democrat motto: Vote early and vote often and certainly don't let the fact that you are dead stop you.

  • Anonymous

    Thank-you ACLU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Americavet

    So Obama got in due to all this corruption? And here I believed him when he said he'd bring transparency ... Wow, what was I thinkin'

  • So true. 

  • They don't want anyone who opposes them to be able to vote. Why is this such a hard concept to understand?

  • Dennis Reasinger

    Outrageous !

  • Why would they spend so much time trying to stop people from registering and institute policies such as mandatory ID and not helping lost voters make it to the right precinct? If it's all just fraud, then why not just let us all think we are voting and getting what we want?

  • Doug Mappin

    Does it escape anyone the irony of this? The state that gave us Dubya is also the state that wants to deny our young their right to vote? Call me a cynic, but I call this voter intimidation, for starters.

  • And a D. The Rs are actively antagonistic to our liberty; the Ds passively stand by and watch said Rs demolish our rights.

  • Florida Fascism run amok.  Take note people, in November, on Tuesday, in the ballot box, of those who are suppressing our freedoms. Hint: there will be an R next to their name.

  • Why not they wouldn't let people vote claiming they were not eligible due to criminal records except the voters didn't have criminal records and by the time it was all sorted out the voting was over. And then there was the recount. They spent time and money getting a recount and then just before the recount results were due they said never mind.

  • The key phrase in your comment is "...try to take away your vote...". The problem with that phrase is that it is about 11 years out of date. Voting for president ended in 2000 when computer voting machines and the US Supremes stole the election for Bush. There have been no actual elections since for president, and probable lots of congresspeople and senators, and governors, too. Too late!

  • Anonymous

    I'm a retired GA social studies teacher, and we registered students to vote at the high school, and there were no problems.  FL is definitely trying to suppress the youth vote with this new law.  

  • makesenseofit


  • Anonymous

    Ah the powers that be sit on high and fear the little people for they know their rage and hate. Don't let the little people vote, keep them hungry, keep them frightened, don't really educate them, steal their pensions, steal their healthcare, steal their future.  The plan has been in place for decades. It has been lavishly funded and masterfully executed.

    Buy our govt., lie to the people, focus our hate on a real or imagined enemy, steal our nation's wealth and more,  ah if only it wasn't so pathetic that so very many American people have not shed the scales from their eyes. 

    Kill any thing or person that has the power to unite the people. OWS is a danger to them and they know it. Watch what will happen as the powers use their police state to stifle any opposition. Unions have historicly been targeted by the rich for it is a tool to unite the people. But the Oligarchs have used propaganda to kill our hopes and dreams and ability to unite.

    Money Rules All!!   Oh and when all else fails use Religion and its army of fakirs, liars, and charlatans to brainwash the gullible.  The Toilet Bowl Spins Ever Faster.

  • Wsteeley

    Students normally vote Democrat. Florida leans regug, so this is not out of the norm for regug voter repression.

  • Jmiles8103

    This is when people need to take to the streets and let the crap hit the fan!!! When these wing nuts try to take away our right to vote...it is time!!!!

  • Yes, politicians are "chipping" away at our rights, one after the other.  Thank the lord for the ACLU. If you don't know about this organization, now is as good a time as any to check them out, folks:  http://www.aclu.org/

  • Appears that the politicians are attempting to circumvent the Bill of Rights - do believe we still have some rights in this country.  Good to hear the ACLU is on this.  fyi:  for those who don't know about the American Civil Liberties Union - you should...  http://www.aclu.org/

  • Absolutely rediculous. This is clearly a violation of this teachers first amendment rights. It is good to see the ACLU is getting actively involved in these obvious attempts at voter suppression. I had a dear friend who died recently who was a freedom rider. I would guess he would be enraged had he lived long enough to see this attack on voting rights. We are getting ever closer to the time when a second revolution is coming, and it will be ugly.

  • A Florida teacher could face thousands of dollars in fines for helping students register to vote . . . 

     . . . while back in 2006, Laura Ingraham encouraged her listeners to prank call and jam a Democratic voter assistance hotline.

    Welcome to Planet Wingnut! Enjoy your stay!

  • HarborGuy


    Wake up America...the Baggers want to lock you out at every turn and make sure that you don't know that they are doing it to you.