Just moments after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a restrictive Republican-crafted voting bill into law, voting rights groups filed several lawsuits against the move.
On Thursday (May 6), the complaints were filed in a Tallahassee courthouse. Both suits claim the law, SB 90, restricts access to the ballot box and will result in discrimination against people of color. “SB 90 is a bill that purports to solve problems that do not exist,” read one of the suits. “[It] caters to a dangerous lie about the 2020 election that threatens our most basic democratic values, and, in the end, makes it harder to vote without adequate justification for doing so.”
Zachery Morris, a lawyer with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF), said the new law represents a “backlash to Black voters’ historic turnout during the 2020 election season.”
“The law’s suppressive and discriminatory provisions make it clear that the Florida Legislature’s goal is to erect additional hurdles to inhibit Florida voters, especially disabled voters, Black voters, and Latino voters, from accessing the ballot box,” Morris said in a statement.
On Thursday (May 6), DeSantis signed the SB 90 bill into law. “Me signing this bill says: Florida, your vote counts. Your vote is going to be cast with integrity and transparency and this is a great place for democracy,” he said.
The new law will limit access to mail-in voting, which became the focus of last year’s Presidential Election. Other stipulations will include banning private funding for elections, stricter voter ID requirements for voting by mail and new limits on who is allowed to pick up and return a voter’s ballot. People will also be banned from distributing food or water to those who are waiting in line to vote.
Republicans argue that SB 90 is needed to ensure election integrity and encourage voter confidence, however, others believe the legislation is a way to hinder Democratic voters — especially minorities.