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Project Vote has joined the ACLU Voting Rights Project and the Florida ACLU in asking the Department of Justice to block a recently enacted discriminatory Florida election law. In a separate letter, the Florida NAACP, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and others also submitted comments to the Justice Department.

In a letter to the Justice Department, the groups request the denial of preclearance to the law because it “will cause retrogression in minority voting strength” in violation of the Voting Rights Act. Among the issues are discrimination “against black voters by reducing the number of early voting days from 14 to eight,” the Associated Press reports. “They also object to a provision making it more difficult for groups such as the League of Women Voters and Boy Scouts to conduct voter registration drives.”

Five Florida counties are among many jurisdictions around the country that are required to get federal preclearance before implementing election laws under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended. The letters to the Department of Justice are part of that process.

“The new Florida law does nothing to improve the administration of elections and everything to make it harder for underserved communities to register and vote,” said Estelle H. Rogers, Project Vote’s Director of Advocacy. “In fact, the Florida State Association of Election Supervisors actively opposed the bill when the legislature was considering it. If they opposed it, clearly it wasn’t designed to help them run elections.”

Earlier this month, Project Vote and the ACLU of Florida filed a lawsuit in federal court in Miami to block implementation of the new law.

Read more on Chapter 2011-40, Laws of Florida (CS/CS/HB 1355)here.

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