Advancement Project National Office Condemns Passage of Florida Voter Suppression Bill
WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, Florida’s state legislature passed Senate Bill 90, a monster voter suppression bill aimed at reducing access to the ballot box for Black and Brown voters. The bill limits access to drop boxes and curtails the ability of civic engagement groups to assist with the collection and return of absentee ballots. The legislation’s passage comes on the heels an anti-protest bill aimed at silencing communities of color that built power in 2020 in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. Advancement Project National Office, a 21st Century civil rights organization released the following statement.
“Over the last two years, Black and Brown Floridians have built power by organizing, protesting and voting. This legislation, in tandem with other anti-democracy bills, is a blatant attack on the mechanisms that helped overturn the state’s racist felony disenfranchisement laws and created monumental change in the streets in response to the murder of George Floyd,” said Judith Browne Dianis, Executive Director of Advancement Project National Office. “Senate Bill 90 is one part of a multi-pronged strategy to shift power away from Florida communities toward legislative bodies that are reliably anti-voter. How else can we interpret the championing of legislation that creates additional barriers to the ballot box, makes it harder for citizens to pass ballot initiatives and criminalizes protest? We must see this legislation for what it is: an effort to block the rising political power of Floridians of color as the state demographics increasingly ‘browns.’”
“All elections should be free, fair and accessible to voters and this law epitomizes voter suppression by limiting access to the very tools that helped Floridians vote safely during a global health pandemic,” said Jorge Vasquez, Power and Democracy Director for Advancement Project National Office. “Florida’s 2020 elections were not well-run as many claim. The state’s refusal to prepare for elections during the coronavirus pandemic exposed voters to COVID-19 in polling stations in Broward county. The state’s refusal to make sufficient accommodations for voters after their online voter registration system crashed on the day of the registration deadline also disenfranchised many voters. This is the anti-thesis of a well-run election. The legislature’s passage of Senate Bill 90 adds insult to injury, using the guise of ‘election integrity concerns’ to make it harder for Black and Brown Floridians.”
“We vociferously condemn the passage of SB 90 and intend to work with our grassroots partners to block its implementation,” continued Dianis. “Americans want to participate in our democracy and when measures are implemented to make voting less cumbersome, they eagerly participate in the process. Senate Bill 90 illustrates why this nation must restore the Voting Rights Act, pass H.R. 1, The For the People Act, and enshrine an affirmative right to vote within the U.S. Constitution.”
Advancement Project National Office is a next-generation, multi-racial civil rights organization. Rooted in the great human rights struggles for equality and justice, we exist to fulfill America’s promise of a caring, inclusive and just democracy. We use innovative tools and strategies to strengthen social movements and achieve high impact policy change. Visit www.advancementproject.org