Groups file lawsuit challenging new rules for voter registration efforts
Attorneys for the League of Women Voters of Florida, Rock the Vote and the Florida Public interest Research Group (FL PIRG) filed a lawsuit today challenging the state's new elections law (HB 1355), saying the changes are "onerous" for local voter registration drives.
The groups want the U.S. District Court for North Florida to block Florida's new restrictions because, the groups say, the rules violate the Constitution and National Voter Registration Act. Read the 54-page complaint here.
They are represented by the ACLU of Florida, Brennan Center for Justice and the law firms of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP and Coffey Burlington of Florida. They say the new requirements hamper their ability to register voters, and the League of Women Voters and the youth-based Rock the Vote say they have shut down their Florida programs.
"It's unfortunate that rather than find ways to bring new voters into the fold, the Florida Legislature is instead targeting groups that help attract new voters," said Florida PIRG director Brad Ashwell.
The groups claim Florida's law violates federal voting laws by infringing on their rights of speech and association and failing to give citizens instructions on how to comply. They contend the changes push "unreasonably tight deadlines" for submitting completed forms and harsh penalties for simple mistakes.