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Group warns that Senate bill could draw a voting rights act lawsuit

Gihan Perera, executive director of the Florida New Majority, warned that the Senate elections bill (SB 600) which now includes a provision that limits people assisting voters at the polls violates the provisions of the federal voting rights act and  is likely to draw a legal challenge. 

"Section II of the Voting Rights Act says any voter who can’t read or write has a choice of who gets to help them,'' Perera said. "This, we believe, clearly contradicts that section of the federal Voting Rights Act."

State law currently requires that anyone who assists a voting in the polling place sign an affidavit. Those protections shield voters from fraudsters, Perera said. "We are currently in compliance. This would put Florida out of compliance.''

He said the provision in the bill harm what was intended to be an improvement in Florida's botched elections system. "This is one of the worst thing for us when we're trying to go and heal the problems of the last election law. One of the few things that really worked well was to train people and to assist people in a very non-partisan and clean way."