The Florida Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights released a report following a series of public meetings and a collection of public testimony regarding changes that have taken place to Florida’s election code since the 2020 general election. The report examines the impact and projected impact of these changes on voting rights in the state. The report considers the extent to which, in practice, these changes may result in a disparate impact on communities of color in the state.
Over the past two decades, Florida has repeatedly reformed its election code in ways that have both expanded and restricted voting opportunities in a range of ways. While limited data available for this study did not show an immediate decline in voter registration or turnout during the 2022 midterm elections, primary concerns explored in this report include new restrictions governing the use of ballot dropboxes, new rules governing third party voter registration groups and ballot collection groups, and potential intimidation of legally authorized voters resulting from prosecutions within the newly established Office of Election Crimes and Security.
Committee Chair Nadine Smith said, “Defending voting rights must remain an essential priority at every level of government. This report shines a light on places where changes can help ensure more Floridians can engage in the democratic process. We are grateful for all the individuals, organizations, and elected officials who provided testimony. The bipartisan committee took great care in reviewing and crafting a report that reflects multiple points of view into a roadmap for improving our systems. We hope it sparks conversation, deeper examination, and important changes.”