Files Lawsuit to Fight Florida Voter Suppression Law

Last updated on March 16, 2023

WASHINGTON –, the largest 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan voting registration and get-out-the-vote (GOTV) technology platform in America, filed a lawsuit today in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida to halt and overturn the state’s wet signature law, which requires some people registering to vote to physically sign their application with a wet signature. Other plaintiffs in the filing include the Florida Alliance for Retired Americans and the Florida State Conference of the NAACP.

Under Florida’s wet signature rule, voters who have not previously registered with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles must sign their voter registration applications by hand using a pen, as opposed to digital or e-signatures (signatures that are applied electronically). The law discourages eligible voters from registering to vote by creating an unnecessary extra step in the process.

“This unwarranted barrier to voter registration is only compounded by a recent assault on voting rights in the state,” said Andrea Hailey, CEO of Vote. org. “As threats to our democracy continue to grow, lawmakers in Florida are unabashedly disenfranchising voters through autocratic laws. These laws only serve one purpose: keeping these politicians in power while undermining the rights of voters who put them there. Officials in Florida are attempting to chip away at our democracy with an onslaught of policies and threats meant to discourage participation. These policies are clear, obvious attempts at voter suppression and they have no place in a thriving democracy.”

“We’re proud to stand up for Florida voters and we’re thankful for Elias Law Group and their commitment to helping fight undemocratic laws across the nation,” Hailey added.

“Florida’s Wet Signature Requirement is an unnecessary burden on voters, particularly the most vulnerable Floridians, and we believe it is a clear violation of the Civil Rights Act,” said Elias Law Group Partner Abha Khanna. “There is no purpose for this requirement, which has the effect of discouraging some eligible Floridians from exercising their right to vote. We are proud to represent, the Florida Alliance for Retired Americans, and the Florida State Conference of the NAACP in support of their efforts to overturn this unwarranted restriction on voting rights.”

Since 2020, 19 states across the country have passed – or attempted to pass – laws that are aimed at directly suppressing the vote. and Elias Law Group argue in the complaint that Florida’s wet signature law is a violation of the United States’ 1964 Civil Rights Act as the type of signature on a qualified voters’ voter registration application provides no insight into a voter’s qualifications and serves no purpose other than to deny some Floridians their constitutional right to vote. has helped over 4.2 million Floridians register, verify their registration, find a polling location or voting information since 2016. The nonpartisan organization works with multiple partners on grassroots activities across the state to inform and mobilize voters. The organization argues there is historical significance surrounding the timing of voter suppression legislation occurring across the country related to wet signature laws.

“This law disproportionately burdens underrepresented groups — especially people of color, the elderly, disabled populations and low-income voters who may not have access to printers,” said Hailey. “The late Congressman John Lewis and other civil rights leaders helped to cement voting rights after they marched on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in March of 1965. It is sobering to reflect that today, 57 years later, we’re still fighting to ensure all Americans have equitable access to make their voice heard at the ballot box. and Elias Law Group will continue to fight these laws in court and at the ballot box.” is working with several other groups in challenging voter suppression laws across the country. In its case against a wet signature law in Texas, multiple groups have filed amicus briefs in support of’s position, including the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), American Civil Liberties (ACLU), and the Texas and Louisiana branches of the NAACP. Their briefs provided additional arguments in support of the arguments made in’s brief.

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