Florida elections officials were wrong to block on-campus early voting sites in Gainesville and Tallahassee, lawyers for the League of Women Voters of Florida told a federal judge Monday.
But attorneys representing the state argued there was no indication that college students — or anyone else — would have voting rights abridged due to an advisory opinion under scrutiny in the federal lawsuit filed this year by the League of Women Voters and other plaintiffs. U.S. District Judge Mark Walker gave no indication how he would rule after hearing nearly three hours of arguments Monday in the case, which involves the state’s position about early voting locations at the University of Florida and Florida State University.
The controversy is centered on whether the constitutional rights of students were violated by an interpretation of a state law by Secretary of State Ken Detzner’s office.
Detzner’s office in 2014 found that a student union on the University of Florida campus did not meet statutory guidelines for early voting sites, which are limited to government offices, such as county courthouses, and voting offices, along with government-owned community centers and convention centers. The law also allows county elections officials to choose one “wild card” locale.