Voter Registration and Assistance
Voter Registration and Assistance Litigation
Fair Elections Center and the Southern Poverty Law Center filed a lawsuit challenging two provisions of a 2021 Florida law known as SB 90. Under the first provision, the state forces community organizations to warn voter applicants that the organization “might not” submit their registration on time, even though these organizations and their volunteers make every effort to submit applications on time in compliance with state deadlines. The new requirements make it less likely that potential voter applicants will submit registrations through community groups. The plaintiff challenging these requirements is Harriet Tubman Freedom Fighters, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization who stands up for the voices of Floridians through their civic engagement activities, including voter registration.
Under another provision of SB 90, a voter may only receive help in obtaining and returning a mail ballot from a limited list of immediate family members or a person who has helped no more than one other voter to whom the person is not related. This restriction violates Section 208 of the Voting Rights Act, which entitles voters who require assistance in voting by reason of disability or inability to read or write to receive help from almost anyone of the voter's choosing. This rule will make voting especially difficult for voters who do not have immediate family in the state or who reside in care facilities. This claim was brought on behalf of the Florida and Central Florida chapters of Paralyzed Veterans of America and two individual voters. The court dismissed their claim in October 2021 because it determined that the Attorney General and Supervisors of Elections were not proper defendants, but left the door open for the plaintiffs to refile in the future.
Amended Complaint (7.15.21)
Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgement (11.12.21)
Response to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgement (12.3.21)
Reply in Support of Motion for Summary Judgement (12.10.21)
Trial Brief (2.26.22)
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida, Tallahassee Division Ruling (3.31.21)
11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling on Stay of District Court injunction (5.6.22)
Press Release -- Voting Rights Groups Sue to Block New Restrictions that Make Voter Registration Much Harder in Florida (6.14.21)
Press Release -- Veteran and Disability Advocates Join Voting Rights Groups in Lawsuit Against Florida SB 90 (7.16.21)
WFSU-FM -- As the trial begins, Michelle Kanter Cohen discusses our challenge to Florida's SB 90 (1.31.22)
Press Release -- Florida's Anti-Voter Law Violates Free Speech, Court Rules (3.31.22)