Spotlight on Ethics and Campaign Finance in Florida
Learn about ethics and campaign finance reform issues, advocacy, and legislative goals.
Election Reform in Florida
The League of Women Voters of Florida promotes electoral reforms that make voting easy, equitable, and effective at expressing public will through election results. We oppose gerrymandering, that is, manipulation of election district boundaries to favor one party or class. We advocate for fair, transparent redistricting. We are interested in any issue or process that directly affects any Florida citizen’s access to voting (e.g., voter registration, voting machines, ballot design, etc).
The 2018 election provided evidence that Florida election systems need reform through additional legislation. League 2019 priorities for election law (see below) include process changes to avoid existing vote-by-mail ballot problems, to allow same-day voter registration, to standardize ballot design, and to support an open primary election system. Watch this page for information from the Election Reform Coalition for the progress of all proposed relevant legislation.
The League continues to be an active supporter of Amendment 4, which restored voting rights to former felons who have completed their entire sentence, except for those convicted of murder or felony sex offenses. The League will actively support voting rights restoration activities for returning citizens in 2019 while looking forward to 2020.
Election Law Legislative Priorities and Issues Restoration of Rights:
- Support automatic registration (opt-out system), same-day voter registration, and improved online voter registration.
- Extend deadlines for signatures cures, recounts and postmark delays caused by the postal service. Support a standardized ballot design and state funding for hardware and software to improve the recount process in close elections.
- Support home rule for counties and municipalities and oppose any preemptive legislation to counter home rule.
- Support statewide use of an Open Primary election system that allows for the broadest possible voter participation.
- Support the election of the President and Vice President by direct popular vote via the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact
For more resources and news about voter restoration and registering disenfranchised voters, CLICK HERE. If you are interested in CLE-credit training for lawyers or volunteers willing to help returning citizens obtain their voting rights, CLICK HERE.
CLICK HERE to see a short video about how Vote411.org will provide you with personalized election information. To request your Vote-By-Mail Ballot and to check your voter registration status, CLICK HERE.
Join the LWVFL Election Reform or Voting Rights Restoration Team! You must be a member of the League of Women Voters of Florida or one of our Local Chapters to participate, please become a member HERE.
Restorations of Rights
Florida’s 2018 Amendment 4 was approved by more than 63% of the Florida electorate in November 2018. The constitutional amendment granted the right to vote to former felons (know as returning citizens) in Florida (except murderers or felony sex offenders) who have completed their sentences. Related legislation, Florida Senate Bill 7066 (SB 7066), was signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis in June 2019. The League believes that SB 7066 does not fully comply to what the voters decided upon. The League along with a number of organizational partners have been in court since its passage. If you would like to read about the court case and its current standing, please CLICK HERE.
Currently, in the midst of a court battle and an election cycle, the League of Women Voters of Florida is attempting to reach out to and register as many returning citizens as possible under the current law. This outreach is being done in a number of ways including phone banking, a hand-written post card campaign and text banking. Florida’s deadline to register voters for the 2020 General Election is October 5.
Additionally, the League of Women Voters of Florida has created a two part training course for lawyers, often known in the legal field as a Continuing Legal Education (CLE), for lawyers who are interested in helping Returning Citizens modify their sentences so that the requirement to pay all financial obligations is no longer a barrier. The CLE trains lawyers so that they can modify sentences and convert the financial obligations to community service or have them excused altogether. The Florida Bar has approved each League CLE for two hours of CLE credit. This is a great free benefit to Florida attorneys. To learn more about the CLE, CLICK HERE.
The League is also working closely with a number of reentry programs to provide resources and voting information pertaining to Returning Citizens to the program participants. Our partners, Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC), have all of their volunteer lawyers take our League CLE before they can work with the FRRC. Thus, our CLE is helping with both the Fines and Fees Program and the Sentence Modification program.
To support our efforts of helping recently re-enfranchised citizens be able to have their voice heard, please CLICK HERE to DONATE and notate “Returning Citizens Outreach” within the donation pages “in honor/memory of” section.
Join the LWVFL Ethics and Campaign Finance Team!
You must be a member of the League of Women Voters of Florida or one of our Local Chapters to participate, please become a member
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Issue History & Study in Action
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