Organizations sue Florida over new voter registration law

New Florida voter law draws NAACP lawsuit
Published: May. 26, 2023 at 6:52 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV/Gray Florida State Capitol Bureau) - Several organizations, including the NAACP, Equal Ground and Florida for Voters of Tomorrow are suing the state over Florida’s new election law Gov. Ron DeSantis signed this week.

The law does several things, which include having organizations register with the state every other year, increasing fines for violations and having them give receipts for registrations.

“It essentially makes it harder for us to be able to reach the people we’ve been actively working with to register them to vote,” said Jasmine Burney-Clark, Equal Ground director.

Equal Ground helps educate people in underserved communities, which includes registering people to vote.

Burney-Clark called the new law voter suppression.

“If we can’t connect with folks in our own community in order to register them to vote, we know voter registration is going to go down,” Burney-Clark said.

Florida for Voters of Tomorrow President Jayden D’Onofrio said these third-party organizations are important in reaching people where they are.

“Because what we see is a lack of outreach to youth and younger voters by the state for voter registration,” D’Onofrio said.

Representative Michelle Salzman said she’s noticed there are problems when people register to vote at events across the state, only those problems aren’t found until election day.

“I can tell you dozens of times personally where I was standing outside sign waving, and people would be and they would leave very upset,” Rep. Salzman, (R) Escambia County said.

The Escambia County Republican said this law is aimed at helping keep Florida elections secure.

“This is one of the most sacred rights we have as United States citizens and we should be taking that seriously,” Salzman said.

Burney-Clark says she agrees elections need to be secure, but she’d like to see lawmakers work with county election supervisors instead.

The new law also requires agencies to communicate more to keep voter rolls updated and clarify absentee voting rules.

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