Third group files lawsuit seeking to block Florida’s new voting law

Organizations say new measure is discriminatory

ORLANDO, Fla. – Representatives from several voting rights organizations became the latest cohort to file a lawsuit Tuesday in hopes of halting the implementation of Florida’s new election law.

Members from a coalition of Black and Latinx organizations held a news conference Tuesday morning to discuss their legal complaint. Advancement Project National Office, Demos and LatinoJustice PRLDEF filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida to block Senate Bill 90.

The legal action was filed on behalf of Florida Rising, Faith in Florida, Equal Ground Education Fund, UnidosUS, the Hispanic Federation and Poder Latinx.

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Opponents say the law will prevent communities of color, seniors and people with disabilities from exercising their right to vote.

SB 90, which was signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis earlier this month, restricts where and when ballot drop boxes can be used in an election and limits who can collect them. It also adds new identification requirements.

“Every voter, regardless of race, background or zip code, should be able to make themselves heard at the ballot box,” Executive Director of Advancement Project National Office Judith Browne Dianis said. “SB 90 aggressively and discriminately violates this principle by imposing barriers on voters of color and disproportionately locking them out of democracy.”

The lawsuit alleges SB 90 disproportionately impacts Black and Brown voters and harms the work of civic engagement organizations.

While the new law does not outright ban ballot drop boxes it greatly reduces the drop-off hours to business hours making them unusable for many voters without 9 to 5 schedules, according to the groups.

The lawsuit becomes the third filed against Florida since DeSantis signed the bill into law earlier this month.

Minutes after the signing, the League of Women Voters joined the Black Voters Matter Fund, the Florida Alliance for Retired Americans and others in assailing the new law in a federal lawsuit.

A separate lawsuit by the NAACP and Common Cause alleges that the new law makes it more difficult for people who are Black, Latino or disabled to vote.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a sweeping elections bill into law Thursday that he and other Republicans said would place guardrails against fraud, even as they acknowledged there were no serious signs of voting irregularities last November. Democrats and voter rights advocates said the partisan move will make it harder for some voters to cast ballots.

About the Author:

Cathleigh is a newscast producer and has been with News 6 since 2014. She graduated from the University of North Florida with a degree in communications, with a focus in broadcast journalism. Cathleigh produces the 5:30 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. newscasts.