California General Attorney Rob Bonta Joins Coalition Opposing Florida Discriminatory Voting Law

Attorney General Rob Bonta

By Angelina Sang

OAKLAND, CA – California Attorney General Rob Bonta has joined a group of 17 attorneys general in an amicus brief advocating the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit reject a Florida discriminatory voter suppression law after the district court struck it down.

The controversial law, Florida Senate Bill 90 (SB 90), was enacted in May last year allegedly over concerns about election fraud, yet the bill may severely and disproportionately impact the voting abilities of elderly voters, voters with disabilities, students, and communities of color, according to AG Bonta.

“The concerns over election fraud appear to be misplaced. Numerous studies, including data collected by the Heritage Foundation and analyses by the Washington Post, have widely debunked fears over election security,” said Bona

SB 90 requires those who vote by mail to provide their driver’s license number or last four digits of their social security number, whereas those who vote in person only need a date of birth and current address, according to Florida’s Sumter County Supervisor of Elections, William Keem.

SB 90 also prohibits voters from dropping off more than two vote-by-mail ballots per election outside of their immediate family, which the law’s critics say limits the access for those who may be unable to bring their own ballots in.

“They made it a crime out of the blue,” said Cecile Scoon, the president of the League of Women Voters of Florida. “This is unfair.”

Additionally, instead of overseeing drop-boxes with security cameras, election personnel are now required to monitor the boxes, resulting in drop-boxes only being open during certain hours of operation.

“That’s completely illogical. On its face, that’s destructive and harmful to the citizens,” Scoon said. “When you take away drop-boxes and their accessibility, you’re basically saying only white-collar workers are gonna be preferred.”

California Attorney General Rob Bonta agrees.

“Florida’s SB 90 is an attack on voting rights — plain and simple,” said Attorney General Bonta. “It’s a modern-day reflection of historical efforts to discriminate against minority voters — and it’s not supported by the facts. I urge the appellate court to reject Florida’s attempt to revive it. The district court got this decision right.”

AG Bonta joins the attorneys general of the District of Columbia, New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Washington in filing the amicus brief.

In the friend-of-the-court brief, the coalition asserts:

  • States have myriad ways to protect election integrity without stripping voters of reliable and safe voting methods;
  • There is no evidence that ballot drop boxes are associated with widespread fraud;
  • SB 90 fails to address the complex issue of voter confidence and voter confidence already remains high by relevant measures; and
  • Florida’s asserted claims fail to demonstrate that the district court clearly erred in its factual findings regarding the intent behind SB 90.

A copy of the amicus brief is available here.

About The Author

Angelina is a junior at UCSB from San Carlos, California studying Psychological and Brain Sciences and History pursuing a pre-law track.

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