“Florida Faces Federal Lawsuit Over Signature Rules for New Voters”

NY Times:

A national get-out-the-vote group and the N.A.A.C.P. on Thursday challenged a Florida law that bars the use of digital signatures on voter registration forms, bringing a federal lawsuit against the state similar to ones pending in Texas and Georgia.

The legal action targets what is known as Florida’s “wet signature” requirement, which mandates that anyone registering to vote who is not listed in the state’s driver’s license database sign their application with a pen.

Florida has about 2.3 million people who are of voting age but do not have driver’s licenses, according to Vote.org, part of a group of plaintiffs in the lawsuit that also includes the the Florida Alliance for Retired Americans.

The plaintiffs contend that the rule creates a particular hardship for people of color, older residents and those with lower incomes who might not readily have access to a printer — and that it puts the onus on them to return applications to the state.

Last year, a federal judge in Texas sided with Vote.org in a 2021 lawsuit over that state’s wet signature requirement. The judge ruled that the mandate violated the federal Civil Rights Act, a decision that the state is appealing.

Vote.org filed a similar lawsuit last year against Georgia, which the state unsuccessfully sought to have dismissed.

Oklahoma also prohibits the use of digital signatures on voter application forms. Vote.org did not rule out the possibility of mounting a challenge there as well.

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