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December 6, 2021

ATTORNEY GENERAL RAOUL FIGHTS TO PROTECT FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS FOR VOTERS

Chicago  — Attorney General Kwame Raoul today joined a coalition of 17 attorneys general in filing an amicus brief in three cases related to voting rights. The plaintiffs in these cases are challenging Florida’s restrictive voting law, Senate Bill 90 (SB 90), and argue that the law establishes unconstitutional voting restrictions, particularly those limiting opportunities to vote by mail and the use of drop boxes for ballot collection. Raoul and the attorneys general further explain that Florida’s law, like others of its kind, has a disparate impact on minority voters.

In today’s brief, Raoul and the coalition support the plaintiffs’ arguments that SB 90 creates barriers to voting, undermining the protections of the right to vote as enumerated in the Voting Rights Act and the U.S. Constitution in the First, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments.

“The ability to vote in free and fair elections is one of the most fundamental rights we have as Americans,” Raoul said. “Florida’s voting law attempts to restrict that right and disproportionally affects minority voters. Every American deserves the right to vote, and have that vote counted, and I will continue to fight any law that attempts to restrict that right."

Florida’s 2020 election saw high voter turnout, with a surge of participation by a young and diverse electorate. In the wake of the election, however, Florida passed SB 90. Among other things, the law severely reduces access to vote-by-mail drop boxes, makes it difficult for voters to get assistance returning their mail-in ballots, and requires that voters more frequently re-request to vote by mail.

In the brief – filed in Florida Rising Together v. Lee; Florida State Conference of Branches and Youth Units of the NAACP, Common Cause, and Disability Rights Florida v. Lee; and League of Women Voters of Florida v. Lee – in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida, Raoul and the coalition argue that SB 90 has discriminatory impacts on minority voters in Florida and that the law interferes with the fundamental right to vote without evidence or reasonable justification for such restrictions. Raoul and the coalition also assert that these claims deserve a full hearing at trial and that summary judgment, which the defendant requests, is not warranted. The attorneys general also argue that it is possible to pursue free and fair elections while expanding voter opportunity in ways that do not risk malfeasance, maladministration, or fraud.

Joining Raoul in the brief are the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.

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