New lawsuit challenges governor for ‘disenfranchising, burdening’ young Florida voters
Image via AG Gancarski.

Ron DeSantis
A new lawsuit will be filed in an old dispute over the rights of young Florida voters.

There will be a new lawsuit in a years’ old battle over the rights of young voters in Florida.

That is if Gov. Ron DeSantis decides to sign a bill that would prohibit early voting on college campuses by the June 29 deadline.

This topic has been a thorn in the side of Republicans since 2014 when Rick Scott’s administration issued a directive that prevented early voting at colleges and universities.

In 2018, a federal judge sided with Priorities USA Foundation and The League of Women’s Voters Florida when he called the administration’s tactics, “a stark pattern of discrimination” and issued a temporary injunction that allowed 60,000 young people to vote in November 2018.

The movement in the case was called “truly a victory for the citizens of Florida,” by League of Women Voters of Florida President, Patricia Brigham.

This month, a bill has made its way to DeSantis for signing into law. It contains language that would issue a parking requirement.

This could exclude colleges and universities which have parking lots that are primarily by permit-only, rendering the victory short-lived.

Plaintiffs in the existing lawsuit believe this legislation is no happy coincidence for Republicans, the groups told Tampa Bay Times:

“[The law] is aimed with laser-like precision at undoing this court’s standing preliminary injunction order, and again imposing an elections regime in which supervisors of elections are effectively prohibited from offering early voting on Florida’s college and university campuses.”

DeSantis is expected to sign the bill, also called SB 7066, and if he does Priorities USA Foundation says they will file a new lawsuit.

“We will not stand by and let lawmakers try to keep young Floridians from exercising their right to vote,” Chairman of the Priorities USA Foundation, Guy Cecil, said in a news release. “We stand ready, again, to fight for Floridians whose voting rights are being taken away by unconstitutional actions intending to keep young voters away from the polls.”

This isn’t the first time in recent history that Republicans have found themselves batting off claims that they are creating obstacles for voters. In recent news, DeSantis took heat for making it harder for felons to have their voting rights restored.

Priorities USA says this newest attempt is “disenfranchising and burdening the right to vote for hundreds of thousands of eligible Florida young voters.”

Melissa S. Razdrih

Melissa S. Razdrih is a Tampa correspondent for Florida Politics. Razdrih graduated with a Bachelor's degree from the University of Tampa in 2006 and went on to earn a Master's degree before switching gears to write professionally. Since then, Razdrih has been published in national blogs, like PopSugar, and local publications, like Tampa Bay Business and Wealth, on everything from self-care to cryptocurrency, but politics is her passion. Contact her at [email protected]


5 comments

  • John

    June 24, 2019 at 9:28 am

    “a stark pattern of discrimination” and issued a temporary injunction that allowed 60,000 young people to vote in November 2018.

    SMH – NOTHING prevented those 60,000 from voting… but nearly no one was able to vote on their campuses due to parking issues and other access problems. The judges partisan opinion and the articles misleading statement are nauseating.

    And I have NEVER seen a college kid have an issue getting around town to go to a football game or bar, so where there is a will, there is a way.

    I am sure there are PLENTY of potential polling places just off campus that Supervisor of Elections can use and will use… but yes, this law needs to be signed.

    So yes, the law is aimed at addressing the injunction, because the injunction was THAT shortsighted…

    • Valerie Sprieser

      June 24, 2019 at 4:07 pm

      Those 60,000 students voted because there were no road blocks by the Florida government imposed on them to prevent them to vote. Many students on campus DO NOT OWN CARS so why should the state require the on campus polling places to require “ample parking”? Sounds like a blatent attempt to disenfranchise thousands of young voters!

      • Valerie Sprieser

        June 24, 2019 at 4:19 pm

        The UF campus has 24,000 parking spaces for a student body of 52,367 and staff if 31,062. For a total of 83,429!
        If you ever visted UF mist student either bike or take buses to get around and most do not own cars!
        This is a blatent attempt to disenfranchise thousands of thousands of young voter!
        Unconstitutional!

  • Karen

    June 24, 2019 at 9:42 am

    Good grief, next we will be paying for limousine service with wine bar refreshments to cart the little darlings to a polling place of their choice!!!

  • SANDRA OLIVA

    June 25, 2019 at 1:02 pm

    Young people DO act Young, of course…didn’t YOU? Help them to vote so they understand their civic DUTY. STOP BLOCKING FOLKS TO VOTE, SANTIS!

Comments are closed.


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