Gov. DeSantis Signs Election Reforms Into Law, Elias Law Group and NAACP Sue Claiming Racism, per Usual

It’s officially Presidential Primary season after Ron DeSantis threw his hat in the ring on Wednesday, in an official campaign launch on Twitter Spaces with Elon Musk. But, Federal Elections Commission paperwork is not the only filing of the momentous day. Florida Governor DeSantis signed into law Senate Bill 7050, which makes 27 elections code reforms to state law including clarifying the “resign-to-run” statute, removing ambiguity regarding DeSantis’ presidential bid. 


Read More: The Hot Takes Flow as Ron DeSantis ‘Breaks the Internet’ With 2024 Campaign Announcement on Twitter

Some highlights of the reforms are:

  • Individuals who are voting for the first time and do not have a verified social security number or Florida ID must cast their votes in person.
  • Third-party organizations involved in voter registration must renew their registration with the state for each election cycle.
  • The bill broadens the list of required maintenance activities.
  • The frequency of reporting is reduced from monthly to quarterly during the qualifying period.
  • Fines for violations of election laws are increased.
  • The requirement for supervisors to publish certain information in a local newspaper’s legal ads is eliminated, allowing them to instead post those notices on their website or the county’s website.
  • The training for signature verification of mail-in ballots is expanded to include staff members whose job responsibilities involve signature verification.
  • The time frame for voter registration groups to submit completed forms to election offices is shortened from 14 days to 10 days.
  • Penalties for late submission of forms are increased from $50 for each late application to $50 for each day the application is overdue.

Predictably, Elias Law Group has already filed a lawsuit, in collaboration with the NAACP, claiming it’s racist to make third-party voter registration groups… file paperwork, or something.

The defendants named in the case are Florida Secretary of State Cord Byrd, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, and Florida’s 67 supervisors of elections. The plaintiffs are Florida NAACP, Equal Ground Education Fund, Voters of Tomorrow Action, Disability Rights Florida, Alianza for Progress, Alianza Center, UnidosUS, and Florida Alliance for Retired Americans.

In a statement for the plaintiffs, Elias Law Group wrote:

SB 7050’s restrictions on voter registration infringe upon third-party voter registration organizations’ constitutional rights to free speech and association and violate the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution because they were purposefully enacted, at least in part, with a racially discriminatory intent to discriminate against Black and Hispanic voters and have the effect . . . of denying, abridging, or suppressing the right to vote of otherwise eligible voters on account of race, ethnicity, or color.


Marc Elias, founder of Democracy Docket, and his allies regularly engage in elections lawfare. During the 2022 Midterm elections, Elias Law Group and others sued ballot box watchers in Arizona and lost due to the pesky ol’ First Amendment. They are also suing over a Voter ID law in Ohio.

Meanwhile, Republican voter registration enthusiast Scott Presler took the opportunity to remind voters of states with closed primaries, Florida being among them.

Presler wrote:


There are states across the country w/ closed primaries.

This means you MUST be registered as a Republican in order to vote in a Republican primary.

CA, FL, KY, NV, NY, OR, PA, register to vote as a Republican today

Presler linked as a resource to check your state laws. As Republicans wrestle out the nomination and look ahead to casting their ballots in the presidential primaries, remember that if you aren’t registered to vote, now is the time to do so. And, it would also be a good time to make sure you weren’t “automated” out of your party preference, especially if you live in a closed primary state.


Happy Election Reform, Big Lawsuit, Voter Registration Reminder, and Campaign Announcement Day, Conservatives!


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