(Adrienne Ferguson, Headline USA) A Republican state legislator from Florida has introduced a measure that, if passed, would dismantle the Florida Democratic Party.
The state’s Division of Elections would have to “immediately cancel” the filings of any political party whose platform had “previously advocated for, or been in support of, slavery or involuntary servitude,” according to “The Ultimate Cancel Act,” which state Sen. Blaise Ingoglia introduced on Tuesday.
The S.B. 1248 measure would mandate that state representatives inform all registered voters who are members of any canceled parties that their party no longer exists. Additionally, it would “provide procedures” for those voters to update their membership to “an active political party” and change their voter registration to “no party affiliation.”
The proposed legislation would permit any political parties that had been disbanded to re-register with the Florida Department of State, but only if they changed their names to ones that were “substantially different from any other party previously registered” with the organization.
The Democratic Party is not specifically mentioned in the proposed law. However, the party backed slavery for the majority of the early and middle 1800s. Following the Civil War, Southern Democrats in particular opposed civil rights reforms and supported maintaining slavery in the United States. The party underwent realignment in the 19th century, and for many years, support for such policies was absent from its platform or general discourse.
“For years now, leftist activists have been trying to ‘cancel’ people and companies for things they have said or done in the past,” Ingoglia said. “This includes the removal of statues and memorials, and the renaming of buildings. Using this standard, it would be hypocritical not to cancel the Democratic Party itself for the same reason.”
Democrats in Florida claimed that the bill’s intention was obvious and targeted.
“Presenting a bill that would disenfranchise 5 million voters is both unconstitutional and unserious. Under Ron DeSantis, Senator Ingoglia is using his office to push bills that are nothing more than publicity stunts instead of focusing on the issues that matter most to Floridians,” the Florida Democratic Party shared in a statement.
The state Legislature possesses a supermajority among Republicans in Florida. The start of its legislative proceedings is March 7.