Brennan Center Submits Testimony Challenging Florida’s Restrictive Election Law

NEW YORK–(ENEWSPF)–January 27 – The Brennan Center for Justice submitted written testimony in advance of today’s U.S. Senate hearing examining Florida’s new election law, H.B. 1355, stating that the law’s onerous restrictions on community-based voter registration drives are unconstitutional and offering solutions for modernizing the state’s voter registration system.

In “New State Voting Laws II: Protecting the Right to Vote in the Sunshine State,” the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights will examine the law, which passed the legislature last year.

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Read the Brennan Center’s full testimony.

“Rather than making it more difficult for Floridians to vote, the state should be working to encourage widespread participation and increase voter registration rates. Responsibility for voter registration must be transferred from the citizens to the government, and Florida must upgrade its registration process. Florida’s antiquated, paper-based registration system is expensive, inefficient and prone to errors which can disenfranchise voters,” reads the testimony.

“By implementing common-sense reforms, Florida can ensure that more citizens are registered to vote while reducing burdens on election officials. These steps would not only boost Florida’s dismal voter registration rates, they would save the state money in the long run. Florida should overturn the law’s unreasonable restrictions on community-based voter registration and instead adopt commonsense reforms to modernize voter registration.”

The Brennan Center for Justice is involved in two separate lawsuits challenging the Florida law.

In Florida v. United States, the Center is co-counsel with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the law firm Bryan Cave LLP in representing the League of Women Voters of Florida (LWVF) and the National Council of La Raza, who oppose H.B. 1355 because of the harm it will cause to minority voters.

The Brennan Center also represents LWVF, Rock the Vote (RTV), and Florida Public Interest Research Group Education Fund (FL PIRG) in LWVF v. Browning, a broad challenge to the law on the basis that its restrictions on community-based voter registration violate the U.S. Constitution, the National Voter Registration Act, and the Voting Rights Act. The Center is co-counsel with the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, the ACLU of Florida, and the law firm Coffey Burlington.

The Center’s testimony includes the detailed comments from their clients LWVF, RTV, and FL PIRG, explaining the devastating impacts of the Florida law’s new restrictions on community-based voter registration groups.

The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law is a non-partisan public policy and law institute that focuses on fundamental issues of democracy and justice. Our work ranges from voting rights to redistricting reform, from access to the courts to presidential power in the fight against terrorism.   

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