U.S. District Judge Mark Walker today struck down portions of Florida’s controversial election law that placed restrictions on voting rules despite there being no evidence of widespread fraud.
The judge found portions of the law to be unconstitutional, including when ballot drop boxes could be used. The law mandated that they be guarded and available only when elections offices and early voting sites are open, with an exception to those in supervisors’ offices.
Anna Gregis of Florida Politics writes:
The 288-page ruling comes after two weeks of testimony in federal court in Tallahassee in front of Chief U.S. District Court Judge Mark Walker, who was appointed to the bench by President Barack Obama in 2012. He noted that the state portrayed the new regulations as “minor prophylactic changes” while the plaintiffs framed them as running “roughshod over the right to vote, unnecessarily making it harder for all eligible Floridians.”
“The court finds that for the most part, plaintiffs are right,” he wrote.
A layman’s take on the Florida law was that it seemed to be designed to create longer lines and wait times for voting and then added a provision to prevent “line warming” which meant that it would be illegal to give snacks or water to people waiting in line to vote.
Florida is just one of 19 Republican dominated states to pass laws that restrict voting while supposedly trying to protect elections from the “rampant voter fraud,” which of course has never been shown to exist. Ironically the majority of actual voter fraud cases have been found in Florida and were committed by Republican voters.
The full court ruling appears below.