Lawsuit filed on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Florida (LWVFL) and League of Women Voters of Florida Education Fund against Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody (R) and Florida Secretary of State Cord Byrd (R). The plaintiffs challenge omnibus voter suppression law, Senate Bill 7050, that among many anti-voting provisions, imposes restrictions on third-party voter registration organizations (3PVROs). The complaint alleges that S.B. 7050’s “unnecessary, and irrational restrictions on constitutionally protected voter registration speech and activity of third-party voter registration organizations” violate the First and 14th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.
The lawsuit specifically challenges several provisions of S.B. 7050 governing 3PVROs: S.B. 7050 bars all noncitizens and people with certain felony convictions from handling voter registration applications, requires 3PVROs to provide a “receipt” to each voter registration applicant containing identifying information, reduces the number of days for 3PVROs to return a voter registration application (with penalties for not doing so) and requires 3PVROs to re-register every general election cycle. “Indeed, SB 7050 is part of a decades-long pattern of the Florida Legislature seeking to punish and deter the expressive conduct of third-party civic engagement organizations like LWVFL,” the complaint adds.
“Unless the challenged provisions of SB 7050 are enjoined, LWVFL’s constitutionally protected political speech and activity will be chilled,” the lawsuit alleges. The lawsuit claims that these restrictions violate the rights to free speech and free association guaranteed by the First Amendment and are unconstitutionally overbroad and vague in violation of the First and 14th Amendments. The plaintiffs request that the court block the defendants from enforcing the challenged provisions of S.B. 7050 and declare them in violation of the U.S. Constitution. The case is consolidated with Florida State Conference of Branches and Youth Units of the NAACP v. Byrd for purposes of scheduling and trial.
On Feb. 13, 2024, the court granted the secretary of state’s motion for summary judgment with regards to a provision of S.B. 7050 that bans people with certain certain felony convictions from handling voter registration applications. Litigation against other portions of the law remains ongoing.