WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Wednesday, May 24, the League of Women Voters of Florida (LWVFL) and League of Women Voters of Florida Education Fund filed a lawsuit challenging certain provisions of a recently enacted voter suppression law, Senate Bill 7050, shortly after Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed it into law.
The lawsuit specifically challenges S.B. 7050’s restrictions and penalties imposed on third-party voter registration organizations (3PVROs): organizations that engage in community-based voter registration. 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.
At issue in the complaint are provisions of S.B. 7050 that bar all noncitizens and people with certain felony convictions from handling voter registration applications, require 3PVROs to provide a “receipt” to each voter registration applicant containing identifying information, penalize 3PVROs for retaining voters’ personal information even with their consent, reduce the number of days for 3PVROs to return a voter registration application (with civil financial penalties for not doing so) and require 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 S.B. 7050 are blocked, “LWVFL’s constitutionally protected political speech and activity will be…severely curtail[ed],” the lawsuit alleges. The plaintiffs claim 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. Accordingly, the plaintiffs request that the court block the defendants from enforcing the allegedly unconstitutional provisions of S.B. 7050.
This lawsuit is the second case to be filed challenging S.B. 7050. Yesterday, the Florida Conference of the NAACP and other pro-voting organizations also filed a lawsuit challenging certain anti-voting provisions of the law under the U.S. Constitution and the Voting Rights Act.