In response to the passage of Florida’s Senate Bill 90, the League of Women Voters of Florida President Patricia Brigham and Board of Directors offer the following statement:
“The League of Women Voters of Florida expresses deep disappointment in Florida’s state legislature as both chambers have passed Senate Bill 90 (2021). The League believes the bill’s sweeping changes will undoubtedly make it harder for Floridians to cast their ballot, with a disproportionate impact on elderly voters, voters with disabilities, students and communities of color. Since the start of the 2021 legislative session the League has cautioned legislators that making these types of changes to our election process will have consequential impacts on voters. Not only has a detrimental piece of legislation passed, but it was done in an undemocratic way, and the public’s voice was silenced.
Instead of working to further streamline our state’s capacity to administer elections, our legislators have decided to suppress access to voting. While the likelihood is obviously low, the League is calling upon Governor DeSantis’s better morals and asking him to immediately veto this terrible piece of legislation.”
Frequently Asked Questions:
How will SB 90 disproportionately harm voters of color, older voters and voters with disabilities?
The legislation forces voters to request a vote by mail ballot twice as frequently as current law, a change that would be particularly burdensome for older Florida voters, many of whom have been voting by mail for years.
The bill adds barriers for voters with disabilities getting the support they need to cast a private ballot in person by restricting where assistance can be offered. The bill also limits to two how many voters a person can return ballots for, unless the ballots belong to their immediate family, a restriction that may make it difficult for homebound voters without immediate family nearby.
The legislation would force voters to use a specific ID when requesting a mail-in ballot. This provision targets low-income Black and brown voters who are less likely to have the required ID.
How does SB 90 make it significantly harder for election officials to do their job and run Florida elections smoothly?
SB 90 requires that drop boxes always be staffed — imposing barriers for voters who need to access secure drop boxes after hours — and adding significant costs for local supervisors of elections. Additionally, requiring supervisors of elections to receive vote-by-mail applications twice as frequently will add significant administrative costs. SB 90 imposes this unfunded mandate on counties, while also barring local election offices from receiving private grant funding to help run elections.