Florida law makes it harder for groups to register voters
Outside groups that want to sign up new voters are facing new challenges in Florida.
Restrictions in a new elections law (Senate Bill 90) that Republicans guided through the Legislature and Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law force so-called third-party voter registration groups to, essentially, try to scare voters out of using them.
It applies to groups on the political left, like People Power for Florida, those on the right, like SOSS: Save Our Sunshine State, as well as groups like the venerable League of Women Voters.
People registering votes must now be told that the volunteer signing them up might fail to turn in their registration paperwork and that they have an option of registering through the state website.
Many voting rights organizations, along with the League of Women Voters, are challenging the state law in court.
“We are experiencing a heavier burden to do the work,” said Cecile M. Scoon, president of the League of Women Voters of Florida. “That statement is harmful to our reputation and is in no way accurate.”
“We’ll continue to do our voter registration. It will be more cumbersome. It will take more time, and we’ll probably reach less people,” Scoon said. And some people will probably not want to do it based on that forced statement that we have to make.”
State Rep Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando, organizer of People Power, said the new rules make it “very hard for new voters to get registered.”
“We do not have to specifically tell voters when we register them that we might turn in the form late and they can turn in the form online. This debilitates us,” she said.