Florida Legislature approves election bill that eliminates resign to run provision

On April 28, Florida S7050 passed the state House 76-34, clearing both chambers of the state legislature. The Florida Senate passed the bill 28-12 on April 26. The Republican-sponsored bill makes a number of changes to the state’s election laws, including:

  • Creates an exception to the state’s resign-to-run law for any individual seeking the office of president or vice president of the United States, and exempts these candidates from requirement related to the submission of certain documents, financial interest disclosures, petition signatures, and payment of filing fees.
  • Makes signature matching mandatory, requires anyone conducting signature matching to undergo training.
  • Requires first-time registrants without certain identification to vote in-person the first time they cast a ballot.
  • Increases fines for violation of voter registration and campaign finance law violations.
  • Requires third-party voter registration organizations to re-register with the state every election cycle, changes the deadline for application delivery from 14 to 10 days, increases fines for late delivery, and requires the organization to give applicants receipts.
  • Allows special election or referendum notices to be published on local government websites instead of in newspapers.
  • Outlines penalties and prohibitions for harassment of election workers, including related definitions.

Sen. Danny Burgess (R) said, “This bill does not and will not hinder anyone’s right to vote, nor would I ever subscribe my name to something that could even remotely be concluded to be voter suppression. There is nothing in this bill that makes it harder for a lawfully registered voter to cast their ballot.”

Sen. Geraldine Thompson (D) said, “This really is suppression. It is suppression, just like poll taxes. That was suppression. Just like violence against people who wanted to vote was suppression. Just like intimidation when you had the Ku Klux Klan march through certain communities was suppression. So I see different characters but the same objective, and that’s to make sure that only certain people vote.”