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Florida Voters Forced to Endure Barriers to Voting After 11th Circuit Stays Preclearance

11th Circuit Court of Appeals stays order that placed Florida under court supervision to pre-clear voting rules, subjecting Floridians to barriers to voting from S.B. 524

TALLAHASSEE, FL. – TODAY, Friday May 6, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals stayed an order that placed Florida under court pre-clearance for any changes to election law. The stay allows Florida’s S.B. 524 to take effect, which creates a special police force for elections and reduces access to droboxes and absentee voting, among other voting barriers. Florida was placed under court preclearance by a decision in a series of consolidated cases that challenged Florida’s prior anti-voter law passed during the 2021 legislative session, S.B. 90. 

The following statement is from Bradley Heard, deputy legal director for voting rights with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC): 

“Now that an order protecting Floridians from anti-voter laws is stayed, communities across the state will be forced to confront barriers to voting from S.B. 524, such as surveillance by a special police force, reduced access to drop-box and absentee voting, and greater risk of voter roll purges.”

“It is wrong to force Floridians to face these barriers to voting that will especially diminish the voices in government of communities of color, women, and voters with disabilities. The importance of protecting the fundamental right to vote against these barriers is exactly the reason why a federal court placed the state under preclearance.”

“Giving the assault by anti-voter politicians on the right to voice and equal voice in government of all Floridians, it is more important than ever that we keep pushing back against these barriers to voting. The SPLC remains committed to defending the right to vote of all Floridians through advocacy, litigation, and community engagement and we encourage everyone in Florida to join us in this endeavor to protect democracy.”