State of Florida

Florida Voter Registration Form Challenge

League of Women Voters of Florida v. Byrd

Lawsuit filed by the League of Women Voters of Florida and the Florida State Conference of the NAACP against Florida Secretary of State Cord Byrd (R) challenging Florida’s statewide voter registration application that was adopted in 2013. The plaintiffs argue that by failing to specify voter eligibility requirements related to prior criminal convictions and provide an explanation as to when an individual’s right to vote has been restored, the state’s registration application has made the already “byzantine statutory scheme for the restoration of voting rights following felony convictions” even worse for Floridians. The plaintiffs allege that the voter registration application violates the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), which requires “minimum standards for informing potential voters about Florida’s complicated eligibility requirements.”  In particular, the plaintiffs argue that the form does not specify any specific eligibility requirements, “fails to inform voters that the eligibility requirements differ depending on a returning citizen’s conviction, the state of conviction, and the sentence received,” and does not explain when an individual’s right to vote has been restored. In addition, the plaintiffs allege that Florida’s voter information cards do not include “any information to indicate to registrants that they might not be eligible to vote.” The plaintiffs also point out that while Florida’s eligibility rules have changed in the last five years, the state’s registration application has not changed since 2013 and does not account for these voter eligibility rule changes. The plaintiffs ask the court to declare the voter registration application in violation of the NVRA, prevent Byrd from using the application and order Byrd to adopt an application that complies with the NVRA. On July 10, the case was dismissed.

Case Documents

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