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Voting Rights Organizations Resolve to Protect Florida Voters as State Continues History of Voter Suppression

CONTACT
Jeralyn Cave, jcave@advancementproject.org
Shanae Bass, sbass@demos.org
Elianne Ramos, eramos@latinojustice.org

TALLAHASSEE, Fla – On Friday, October 9, a coalition of voting rights organizations reacted to a court’s decision not to extend Florida’s voter registration deadline after the state’s online registration system crashed on Monday. The lawsuit, filed by Advancement Project National Office, Demos, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, and Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer on behalf of the Dream Defenders, New Florida Majority, Organize Florida, and the Florida Immigrant Coalition asserted that thousands of Floridians had been disenfranchised by the system’s technical difficulties on the last day of voter registration. The Plaintiffs also asserted that Florida’s midday extension of the registration deadline on Tuesday was insufficient to notify all Floridians who were unable to register because of the system’s failure. The Plaintiffs released the following statement.

“We are incredibly disappointed that Floridians across the state were disenfranchised due to the failure of the state’s online voter registration system. The state of Florida once again violated its duty to ensure all eligible Floridians can participate in free, fair and safe elections. Thousands of eligible residents will not be able to participate in the November election.” 

“Sadly, this is another episode in Florida’s long history of voter suppression. From its efforts to thwart the will of Floridians in overturning racist felony disenfranchisement laws this year, to its failure to adequately update and address technical issues of its online voter registration system, one thing is clear: the state of Florida has consistently failed Florida voters. When advocates took legal action against the state of Florida in 2018, we spotlighted the system’s technical deficiencies. The state assured voters that the system would be able to handle increased voter registrations this year based on the current voter rolls and the increasing population of the state.”  

“The state’s failure to provide a meaningful extension of the voter registration deadline disproportionately harms Black and Brown communities and Florida’s poor who are more heavily impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and less likely to have received the midday notification of the registration deadline extension on Tuesday. Moving forward, we will continue our commitment to ensure that all voters who were able to register will be protected during all voting periods.”

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