The Florida Legislature’s new voting rules, as outlined in Senate Bill 7050 and signed by Governor Ron DeSantis, have raised concerns among nonprofit groups and local election officials as they prepare for the 2024 elections. Critics argue that the law introduces unnecessary obstacles for voters, such as increased penalties for clerical errors by third-party voter registration groups and requiring voters who wish to vote by mail to reapply before every election.

One major change affects third-party registration groups like the League of Women Voters, making it more challenging for them to conduct registration drives. The law imposes various restrictions, including requiring organizations to re-register with the state for every general-election cycle, forbidding prefilling of information on registration applications, shortening application return timeframes, and increasing fines for noncompliance.

The League of Women Voters, among other organizations, has taken legal action to challenge the law, resulting in a temporary block of certain provisions. In response to the new restrictions, the League has adapted its procedures to enable citizens to complete their own registration with the assistance of volunteers and digital devices.

Another provision of the law affects vote-by-mail requests. Previously, a mail-in ballot request in Florida was valid for two years, but the new law cancels all existing requests, requiring voters to submit a new request before each election. This change has led to concerns among county election officials, prompting outreach campaigns to inform voters about the altered process.

In summary, the new Florida voting rules are facing criticism for potential voter suppression and creating hurdles for both third-party registration groups and individuals applying for mail-in ballots, prompting legal challenges and adjustments in voter registration procedures.