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Responsive Gov’s Grade TL;DR

Unfortunately, the Florida Legislature continued to push legislation to further restrict voter access in the state. Instead of clarifying confusing election laws, particularly around voter eligibility, the legislature opted to empower the newly formed Office of Election Crimes to begin prosecuting citizens for these crimes, which are often the result of simple misunderstandings and honest mistakes. The Legislature also passed new restrictions on voter registration groups. The secretary of state also took action to make the state’s voter rolls less secure and accurate by resigning the state’s membership in ERIC. Despite the negative actions taken by the legislature and secretary of state this year, fortunately, the impact on voters is likely to be minimal, therefore, Florida received a D- on this year’s progress report.

Looking Back

Where Florida Started at the Beginning of 2023

  • Automatic Voter Registration: No
  • Online Voter Registration: DMV ID
  • Same-Day Registration: No
  • Restoration of Rights: Some Permanent Disenfranchisement
  • Vote by Mail: No-Excuse
  • Electronic Registration Information Center Member: Yes
  • Early Voting Opportunities: Regular Ballot Early Voting
  • ID Requirements: ID Requested, but Not Required

Relying on the Cost of Voting Index for Florida as of 2022, we considered the state a middle tier state for pre-existing voting policy and compared its 2023 activity against other middle tier states. Last year, Florida was considered a bottom tier state.

How Our Tier Compares

  • COVI (2022): 33rd
  • EPI Score (2020): 17th
  • CLC State Scorecard (2022): 7/10
  • MAP Democracy Rating (2022): FAIR

2023: This Past Year

Legislative Action

Unfortunately, the Florida Legislature continued to pass new anti-voter policies.

  • S 4 (passed during special session) authorizes the state to begin prosecuting cases investigated by the recently established “Office of Election Crime and Security.”
  • S 7050 imposes onerous registration requirements on third party voter registration groups that requires them to re-register for every general election cycle and subjects them to substantially increased fines and penalties for errors; shortens the deadline to request mail ballots. This bill also creates new voter list maintenance practices that subject voters with non-traditional addresses to additional scrutiny. The provisions governing third party voter registration groups are currently the subject of ongoing litigation and have been preliminarily enjoined.

Executive Action

  • Earlier this spring, Secretary of State Byrd terminated the state’s membership in the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC). Although Governor DeSantis championed the state’s joining the organization just four years ago as an important tool to “ensure our voter rolls are up-to-date,” the state chose to succumb to misguided political pressure and pull out of ERIC.