New tests required for long-plagued online voter registration system must be transparent

TALLAHASSEE A coalition of voting rights and community organizations are urging Florida Secretary of State Laurel Lee and the Florida Division of Elections to prevent barriers to the ballot caused by SB 90, the anti-voter legislation signed into law in May, which makes it harder for voters to request and return vote-by-mail ballots and get assistance while waiting in line to vote.

In a letter sent Wednesday, advocates urged Lee and the state election officials to highlight information on the front page of the Division of Elections website, detailing changes to the law relating to SB 90, and provide guidance to Supervisors of Elections to ensure that voters are not penalized if their registration application is delivered timely, but to a county in which the voter does not reside. 

Advocates also called on Lee to be transparent about capacity tests required by the new law to ensure that the online voter registration system does not fail again. For years, All Voting is Local and other organizations have demanded that the state perform these tests to ensure that the system would not break down during periods of high use. 

“Steps must be taken now to prevent SB 90’s many problematic provisions from becoming barriers that disenfranchise voters during municipal elections this fall, the upcoming special election for Congressional District 20, and the next general election,” groups wrote

The full letter can be found here and was signed by the following groups:

All Voting is Local Florida  

ACLU of Florida

Alianza for Progress

Campaign Legal Center

CHISPA Florida

Democracy for All Florida

Equal Ground Action Fund 

Iniciativa Acción Puertorriqueña

La Mesa Boricua de Florida 

LGBT+ Center Orlando, Inc.

NAACP Florida State Conference

Peer Support Space Inc.

Poder Latinx

Progress Florida Education Fund

State Voices Florida

The Bros in Convo Initiative

In a letter sent in June, All Voting is Local Florida and CHISPA Florida urged all 67 Florida Supervisors of Elections to use their local authority to protect voters as they implement the 2021 anti-voter legislation.