Today, LDF, the Okaloosa County Branch NAACP, and the NAACP Florida State Conference sent a letter to Okaloosa, Florida County Supervisor of Elections expressing concern over misleading signage outside early voting locations in Okaloosa County. As shown in photos in the letter, temporary signs reading “Republicans Vote Here Today” have been placed in the immediate vicinity of at least two early voting sites in Okaloosa County. These signs have been seen at (1) Okaloosa County Administration Building, 1250 Eglin Parkway, Shalimar; and (2) Destin Community Center, 101 Stahlman Ave, Destin.
These signs create an unacceptable risk of voter confusion and violate state and local law, including prohibitions on dissemination of false information to induce others to refrain from voting. These signs create a risk of voter confusion in multiple ways: First, the signs imply that Republicans and non-Republicans vote in different locations. Voters may interpret these signs to mean that this voting location has been designated for Republicans, and other voting locations have been designated for other voters. Second, the signs imply that Republicans and non-Republicans vote on different days. Voters may interpret these signs to mean that Republican voters are designated to vote “today” and may not vote on other days, and non-Republicans should return to vote on another day. The risk of confusion is also significant because these signs are similar in color and typography to the official “Vote Here” signs used by election officials.
Because these signs constitute unlawful false information, they should be removed regardless of whether they are placed inside or outside the 150-foot electioneering boundary. The groups urge Supervisor Lux to immediately remove these signs and warn any individuals responsible for producing or distributing these signs that they are in violation of Florida law.
Read the full letter here.
Founded in 1940, the Legal Defense Fund (LDF) is the nation’s first civil rights law organization. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Please note that LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights.