Yet another lawsuit has been filed targeting a recent bill signed by Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis that deals with elections.
As in other litigation, this new case challenges restrictions that have been placed on non-governmental organizations that do outreach to voters, specifically dealing with the process of registering to vote. Under DeSantis’s new plan, these organizations are flatly prohibited from utilizing the services of non-citizens in meeting with prospective voters and collecting info, which — as obviously could be expected — didn’t come with any kind of evidence of the non-citizens actually presenting a problem in outreach to locals. This case notes that there was no evidence of such an actual, real-world problem presented during key Senate committee hearings on the legislation DeSantis eventually signed.
The new lawsuit is from organizations called Hispanic Federation and Poder Latinx, along with several residents of the state, who are challenging the new rules under various pieces of federal law.
That list includes rights to free speech and association under the First Amendment, along with the legal demand for equal protection contained in the 14th Amendment. Those who are not citizens, who sometimes even serve in the military, are not somehow exempt from any kind of legal protection. DeSantis’s restrictions also generally threaten to undercut access to the electoral process for communities served by the organizations doing the disputed outreach to potential voters. Such groups often particularly meet the needs of marginalized communities. Democracy Docket tabulated this case as the third lawsuit against DeSantis’s bill.
Also included in the challenged bill are restrictions on those outreach organizations keeping voter data outside the context of getting people registered, which could make getting out the vote, as it’s known, more difficult. Such refers to the process of reminding and encouraging people to head to a polling place or use some other method to cast a ballot. Also covered in the bill was the process for requesting a mail-in ballot, with new restrictions limiting those who can do so to the individual voter or their immediate family members, which could negatively impact those with substantial needs for assistance — assistance that, in general, federal law often mandates be provided. Read more at this link.