Florida Voting Integrity Bill Immediately Faces Lawsuits After Becoming Law

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Florida bill that seeks to protect the integrity of elections has been hit with legal challenges immediately after it became law.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on May 6 signed into law the Republican-backed Senate Bill 90, which adds safeguards to the way people vote using ballot drop boxes and mail-in ballots. The bill has been heavily opposed by civil rights activists and Democrats, who argue that the measure disproportionately burdens African American and Latino voters’ right to vote, which they say amounts to voter suppression.

Shortly after the law was enacted, several voting rights groups filed two separate lawsuits seeking to block the enforcement of the law and declare that the measure violates the U.S. Constitution and federal law.

Both of the suits were filed in a federal court in Tallahassee and claim that SB 90 is illegal because the “restrictions” don’t apply to all Florida voters equally. The suits argue that the law was crafted in a way that would create substantial hurdles for senior, young, and minority voters and for voters who wish to vote by mail.

“SB 90 is a bill that purports to solve problems that do not exist, caters to a dangerous lie about the 2020 election that threatens our most basic democratic values, and, in the end, makes it harder to vote without adequate justification for doing so,” one of the lawsuits claimed (see below and here).

The lawsuits took particular issue with the new safeguards on ballot drop boxes such as the availability, location, and supervision of the boxes. The plaintiffs also opposed measures banning organizations and volunteers from collecting absentee ballots, additional requirements for re-requesting absentee ballots, and the provision that bans solicitation activities around polling locations including the distribution of free food and water.

“Together, these foregoing provisions … target almost every aspect of the voting process, and they do so without a legitimate purpose, much less a compelling state interest that can justify their restrictions on the franchise,” one of the lawsuits alleged.


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