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Federal judge reinstates Florida voting law

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The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has reinstated the 2021 Florida voter integrity laws that were struck down by a district judge in March.

Senate Bill 90, which Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law last year, banned the practice of ballot harvesting, stops the mass-mailing of unsolicited ballots, and allows for more open access for poll monitors and calls for signature matching.

It also restricted the number of ballot drop-off locations and tightened rules pertaining to electioneering at polling places.

In March, U.S. District Judge Mark Walker ruled that the law intentionally discriminated against minority voters and unfairly served the interests of the party in power.

Judge Walker also ordered Florida to be placed under ‘preclearance’ for 10 years.

Preclearance is a provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1964 which allows judges to place state and local governments under federal oversight if they believe there is evidence of racial discrimination.

Under preclearance, any changes to a jurisdiction’s voting laws must be approved by a federal judge.

The state appealed the ruling and the appeal was granted on the basis that it was too close to the August primaries for preclearance and that there was ‘compelling interest’ in Florida ‘preserving the integrity of its election process.’

Gov. DeSantis has made election integrity a major facet of his administration.

The Florida Primary is on August 23rd.