Florida legislature passes bill with stifling restrictions for community voter registration groups that support new Black, Latino voters
TALLAHASSEE — The Florida legislature passed a harmful omnibus elections bill Friday that needlessly erects barriers to voter registration and creates more confusion for voters.
In a party-line vote, Republican members of the Florida House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 7050 by a 76-34 vote following the Senate’s approval of the measure earlier this week. It will now go to Gov. Ron DeSantis for his signature.
Provisions within the bill specifically target community-based voter registration groups with enormous fines and draconian new restrictions. These groups have made it possible for many Floridians to exercise their right to vote: One out of every 10 Black and Latino voters and one out of every 50 white voters in Florida have registered with the support of these organizations. These groups are especially important for Floridians who do not possess a Florida driver’s license or Florida state ID, making them unable to use the state’s online voter registration system.
In a particularly egregious restriction, this discriminatory legislation prohibits legal immigrants, Green Card holders, and people who are in the process of becoming U.S. citizens from helping register voters with community-based groups under threat of a $50,000 fine per person. These individuals make up a big part of the workforce to connect with eligible voters who face language barriers.
Statement from Amy Keith, program director of Common Cause Florida
This is the third year in a row Florida’s lawmakers have changed our voting rules, attacked community-based groups who support voters, and implemented unnecessary and confusing barriers for Floridians looking to participate in our democracy, while making no investment in voter education at all.
This makes clear their real aim: to suppress our voting rights and silence the voices of eligible Florida voters who want a more inclusive future for our state.
We need a democracy that works for everyone, and our Florida leaders should be targeting the wealthy special interests that dominate our politics, not everyday Floridians who deserve to exercise their right to vote without barriers.
Despite this new law, at Common Cause Florida we will continue supporting voters to ensure every eligible Floridian can cast their ballot and have it count.