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League Of Women Voters Of Florida Challenges New Voting Law

Roberto Roldan
WUSF Public Media

Cecile Scoon, the President of the League of Women Voters of Florida, discussed the obstacles a new law poses to voters on Friday.

Concerns about voters’ rights was the main theme during a meeting hosted by Hillsborough County’s League of Women Voters on Friday.

The source of those concerns is Senate Bill 90, which was signed into law in May.

The law makes several changes to the election process, with most significantly impacting or altering vote-by-mail and ballot drop-off processes.

President of the League of Women Voters of Florida Cecile Scoon said the organization, along with other grassroots organizations across the state, have filed lawsuits against the changes.

“We're in the middle of the discovery part of the litigation, like, ‘Show me your documents, let me talk to your witnesses.’" said Scoon. “But we're opposing (the law) very aggressively.”

In the meantime, the league is trying to get the word out to eligible voters about the changes that have been made, especially to those who use the state's vote-by-mail system.

Now, due to the law, they won’t be automatically re-enrolled in the mail-in system for the next election cycle.

“We want people to know that they have to, every time, ask for their vote-by-mail. It's not going to come automatically anymore. Many people are super busy, and they may be accustomed to the old cycle,” said Scoon.

The law also establishes new identification procedures for vote-by-mail. Those who want to register must provide a driver’s license, state ID, or the last four digits of their Social Security number.

“Not everybody has those things. Certainly we know that you have to wait in line, it's time resources, it’s financial resources. Not everybody has their birth certificate to get these things done,” said Scoon.

The league is partnering with the organization VoteRiders to ensure people can acquire these documents if they don’t have them — whether they’re in need of transportation or the funds to get it done.

“Given this new requirement, this is critical. Because many of the people that we're concerned about are missing some of these state documents,” said Scoon.

Ballot drop boxes have also been made less accessible by the law.

Unless it’s located at a county Supervisor of Elections' office, a drop box can only be open during business hours when an employee can monitor it, according to Scoon.

“We are very concerned that this again will have a huge impact on those with financial limitations who are working several jobs to make ends meet,” said Scoon.

Read more about what the League is doing in regards to voters’ rights here.

Jorgelina Manna-Rea is a WUSF Rush Family/USF Zimmerman School Digital News intern for the fall of 2021, her second straight semester with WUSF.
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