FDP Statement on the Unanimous Passage of HB105

Author:  Max Steele
Bill Standardizing Vote-by-Mail Passes After FDP Lawsuit Combatting Voter Disenfranchisement. Tallahassee, FL — Today, the Florida House of Representatives passed Democratic Leader Janet Cruz’s House Bill 105 which will solve serious voter disenfranchisement issues throughout the state. The bill creates a uniform standard for curing vote by mail ballots by offering the voter a chance to fix a ballot that was rejected due to a mismatched signature. This common sense solution to our voting system comes after the Florida Democratic Party won a lawsuit against Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner.

“Today, we took another step toward making sure every Floridian can make their voice heard at the ballot box. It is the Legislature’s responsibility to do everything possible to make voting easy and accessible to all eligible voters,” said Florida Democratic Party Chairman Stephen Bittel. "Florida Democrats will always work to expand voting rights and we will fight any attempt to disenfranchise voters. As a state we need to respect the democratic institution of voting and the FDP is proud of today’s win for democracy.”

In 2016, the FDP sued the Secretary of State over voter disenfranchisement due to the lack of options available to voters whose signature on the vote by mail ballot was deemed as mismatched with their signature on file. U.S. Judge Mark Weller ruled in favour of the Democrats, stating the lack of remedy as “obscene" and that it was “illogical, irrational, and patently bizarre for the State of Florida to withhold the opportunity to cure from mismatched-signature voters while providing that same opportunity to no-signature voters.”

Previously many voters, including older voters and voters with disabilities, may have been disenfranchised under the non-uniform system. The bill, put forth by Democrats, will put into statute that the local Supervisor of Elections must offer a voter the chance to cure a ballot that was rejected due to a mismatched signature by signing an affidavit attributing to the validity of the ballot by 5pm on the day before Election Day.