An unnecessary elections police force | Opportunity For All Floridians

An unnecessary elections police force

Issue Area: Voting Access

No matter our age, no matter our race, no matter how much money we make, we all deserve to have an equal voice in choosing the leaders who govern our communities, our state, and our country. This is why we believe so strongly in strengthening access to democracy, removing unnecessary barriers that lower participation, and ensuring that working Floridians’ voices are heard.

The bills we tracked During the 2022 Legislative Session:

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed SB 524, the "Anti-Voter Freedom Act" on Monday, April 25

SB 524: The Anti-Voter Freedom Act

On Monday, April 25, Governor DeSantis signed SB 524, the Anti-Voter Freedom Act. What does this mean for Florida voters who believe in improving voting access to working Floridians?

What does the Anti-Voter Freedom Act do?

  • It includes a laundry list of new requirements for voters 
  • unnecessary new voter file purges that could take away a voter’s right to vote without their knowledge
  • new unfunded mandates for counties
  • provisions creating what’s become known as “Desantis’ Election Police.”

Unnecessary:

We don’t need this new law enforcement bureaucracy to investigate complaints to the state’s “Voter Fraud Hotline.” There’s too much potential for voter intimidation and “witch hunts” – and people are already intimidated by the changes in last year’s bill. League of Women Voters of Florida President Cecile Scoon shared in court how voter registration efforts have already been hurt by SB 90 – and the “Anti-Voter Freedom Act” would only make this worse.

Waste of our tax dollars:

This new law costs millions of dollars in state money every year (and costs county governments millions more), which is a waste of taxpayer dollars.

Recap of the Special Session

Redistricting:

You may have seen a lot of headlines last week about Governor Ron DeSantis’s fight with Disney. While that may be interesting, it is a distraction. The main outcome of the recent special session was that the Florida Legislature passed a new Congressional map after Gov. DeSantis vetoed the original map passed in March. 

H000C8019 as passed on March 4, 2022 by The Florida House Redistricting Committee
The governor's proposed map, passed by the Florida Legislature on April 21, 2022

This new map slashes minority representation in half, and favors the governor’s political party by more than a 2 to 1 margin. Several organizations immediately filed suit after the passage of this map, arguing it does not comply with Florida’s own laws and state constitution. 

The Fair District amendment to the State Constitution approved by voters in 2010 prohibits legislators from drawing districts to benefit parties and incumbents, and requires them to preserve the ability of minority voters to elect representatives of their choice. 

If the courts find this map violates the law, it will be invalidated, as happened to the state senate and congressional maps in 2012.

No matter what we look like or how much money we make, most of us agree we all deserve to have our voices heard on issues that directly affect us. That is why we saw several Black members of the Florida House holding a peaceful sit-in on the floor of the Florida House of Representatives, calling attention to the new maps which cut minority representation in half.

Democratic House members protested a congressional redistricting plan. Ryan Dailey / News Service Of Florida

Get The Facts

Voting Access update: Gov. DeSantis signs the Anti-Voter Freedom Act
The Anti-Voter Freedom Act • creates new and deliberate barriers to the freedom to vote, • wastes millions of taxpayers dollars on unnecessary programs that do nothing make voting more safe or secure, • will make it harder for our elections administrators to do their jobs