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Florida Voting Rights Organizations Prepare for Legal Showdown in Statewide Elections Trial

CONTACT
Jeralyn Cave, Advancement Project National Office, jcave@advancemetnproject.org
Shanae Bass, Demos, sbass@demos.org
Elianne Ramos, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, eramos@latinojustice.org

TALLAHASSEE, Fl. – Yesterday, ahead of a closely watched voting rights trial set to begin on July 20, a coalition of racial justice organizations submitted a trial brief documenting the gross inaction of the state of Florida in making voting changes amidst the coronavirus pandemic. The case against the state of Florida to ensure free, fair and safe elections was filed last spring by Advancement Project National Office, Demos, and LatinoJustice PRLDEF on behalf of Dream Defenders, New Florida Majority, and Organize Florida.

“The burden is on the state of Florida to ensure that, given the coronavirus and the unprecedented times we’re in, that people have access to the ballot,” said Rachel Gilmer, Co-Director of Dream Defenders. “Not having fair and equitable access to the ballot is a problem across political party, across communities, across race and across class. And the state has made no changes.”

“With the surge in COVID-19 cases, the least our state can do is take special measures to ensure safe elections for everyone. The fact that we have to take legal action against the state of Florida for people to vote, shows how deeply rooted voter suppression really is,” said Moné Holder, Senior Program Director of Policy, Advocacy and Research at New Florida Majority. “We are willing to go above and beyond to make sure all Floridians, especially voters in Black and brown communities can participate in democracy.”

The legal complaint requests an expanded early voting period and modifications to Florida’s vote-by-mail system. The complaint also requests changes to the online voter registration process, among other requests.

“The state of Florida should be making it easier for people to register to vote. Right now voters must have a signature on file with the state to register online to vote, which means there’s many people who do not have access to a printer and cannot register with the state because their online signature is not part of it,” said Stephanie Porta, Executive Director of Organize Florida.

“Florida is the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic and the epicenter of the voter suppression epidemic,” said Gilda Daniels, Litigation Director of Advancement Project National Office. “Florida’s long-standing history of racial discrimination against people of color has blocked access to the ballot box for generations. We simply demand the state fulfill its obligation to ensure Floridians can safely participate in elections that are free, fair and accessible.”

Explore the court documents here:

Dream Defenders_Trial Brief_7.3.2020

N340 Third-Amended Complaint N87-1 Proposed PI
N87-1 Proposed PI
91-5 Declaration of Robyn Wise
86-10 Declaration of Zetta Williams
86-9 Declaration of Robert Woods_Organize FL
86-8 Declaration of Nicholas Ciriello
86-7 Declaration of Andrea Mercado_NewFM
86-5 Declaration of John Jordan
86-4 Declaration of Rachel Gilmer_DD_UPDATED
86-2 Declaration of Alice Wujciak
04-7 Declaration of Terriayna Spillman
04-4 Declaration of Eva Robinson

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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

The New Florida Majority (NewFM) is an independent political organization working to increase the voting and political power of historically marginalized and excluded constituencies toward an inclusive, equitable, and just Florida. For more information on NewFM, please visit our Website at www.newfloridamajority.org

Dream Defenders is an organization of multiracial, young people in Florida founded in the wake of Trayvon Martin’s murder that are organizing towards a new vision for safety away from prisons. To learn more about us, please visit dreamdefenders.org.

Organize Florida is a community-based, nonprofit member organization of low and moderate-income people dedicated to the principles of social, racial, and economic justice and the promotion of an equal and fair Florida for all.

LatinoJustice PRLDEF works to create a more just society by using and challenging the rule of law to secure transformative, equitable and accessible justice, by empowering our community and by fostering leadership through advocacy and education. For more than 40 years, LatinoJustice PRLDEF has acted as an advocate against injustices throughout New York and beyond. To learn more about LatinoJustice, visit www.latinojustice.org.

 

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