In May 2021, LDF filed a federal lawsuit against Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee challenging Florida’s new law that greatly restricts voting access. The lawsuit argues that S.B. 90 creates unnecessary barriers and burdens that disproportionately impact Black and Latinx voters, and voters with disabilities, violating Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, the First, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
In March 2022, Florida voters secured an important victory when a federal judge struck down Florida’s suppressive voting law, S.B. 90, ruling that it violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. The court will also retain jurisdiction of this case for 10 years, during which Florida may not enact any law concerning drop boxes or line relief without permission from the court, known as pre-clearance.
The court struck down the below provisions in S.B. 90 challenged by the lawsuit:
Read Judge Walker’s decision here.
Turnout in the 2020 general election was over 77%, the highest in 28 years in Florida— despite an ongoing global pandemic. About 44% of votes were cast by mail. Over 500,000 Black voters cast mail ballots in 2020, more than twice as many as in 2016 and 2018. S.B. 90 and its severe restrictions on the vote-by-mail process is a direct response to unprecedented Black participation in vote-by-mail in the 2020 election. The Legislature enacted S.B 90. despite there being no evidence of fraud or irregularities in the 2020 Florida elections.
Florida’s S.B. 90 is just one of the many voter suppression bills driven by baseless allegations of fraud introduced in the wake of the 2020 election. Legislators are following the same model to restrict voting access – using false information to stoke fear in an otherwise secure electoral process. The Brennan Center’s State Voting Bills Tracker counts more than 400 restrictive voting bills introduced in legislatures across the country.