The Justice Department objected late Friday to new provisions of Florida election law which place strict regulations on third-party voter registration groups and cut down on the early voting period. DOJ alleged in a court filing that Florida was unable to prove the new provisions were not discriminatory under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. “As to the third-party voter registration and early voting changes enacted… respectively, the United States’ position is that the State has not met its burden, on behalf of its covered counties, that the two sets of proposed voting changes are entitled to preclearance under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act,” according to a court filing.
Florida had begun the preclearance process with DOJ but subsequently sued the government after federal lawyers asked for additional information about how some provisions of the state’s new election law would be enforced.
Non-partisan groups like the League of Women Voters have ended their voter registration efforts in the state because of the law, which forces individuals conducting voter registration drives to get permission from the state and turn in voter registration cards within 48 hours of a voter filling them out. The League of Women Voters, the Brennan Center, and Rock The Vote are also fighting that provision of the law in court and an initial hearing was held earlier this week.