Civil Rights Organizations to Rally for Florida Voting Rights Act

Lawmakers and civil rights organizations will rally at the Florida Capitol this Wednesday in support of legislation to expand voter access in the state.

The rally will highlight the Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore Florida Voting Rights Act, legislation sponsored by Sen. Geraldine Thompson (D-Orlando) and Rep. LaVon Bracy Davis (D-Orlando).

The legislators will join speakers from voting rights organizations including the Florida NAACP, Equal Ground Action Fund, SPLC Action Fund, ACLU of Florida, All Voting is Local Action, Legal Defense Fund, and Florida Rising.

Florida would be the first state in the Deep South and seventh in the nation to pass a state Voting Rights Act. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, over 100 laws restricting voting access have passed since the 2013 U.S. Supreme Court Shelby v. Holder decision removed key components of the federal Voting Rights Act. The case struck the landmark law’s preclearance component, which for decades required states that had passed laws harmful to Black voters to seek federal approval for changes in election law.

The rally and press conference will begin at 12 PM on Wednesday, February 7 in the Capitol’s House Office Building Plaza. The bill promises to expand voter access by providing key protections that prevent and guard against discriminatory voting practices.

Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Republican-dominated Legislature have passed several major election laws following former president Donald Trump‘s falsehoods regarding the safety and security of the 2020 election. In addition to limiting vote-by-mail and secure drop boxes, the laws have restricted third-party voter registration efforts and created a state elections police force.

Body camera footage released in October of 2022 showed many of those arrested for voting while ineligible had confusion regarding their eligibility, having received a voter information card from elections officials.

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