Press release

Racial Justice Organizations Issue Statement on Second Florida Ruling Denying Extension of Vote-By-Mail Deadline Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic

“With a general election in November, we are continuing to take action through the current litigation to ensure the state of Florida has a plan and accommodations in place to assure access to the ballot for future elections.”

TALLAHASSEE On Wednesday, March 18, 2020, a U.S. District Court judge for the Northern District of Florida denied a second motion filed by a group of racial justice organizations to protect the right to vote of all Floridians impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Advancement Project National Office, Demos, and LatinoJustice PRLDEF filed the latest motion on Tuesday on behalf of Dream Defenders, New Florida Majority, Organize Florida, and individual plaintiffs seeking a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction. The motion urged defendants Governor Ron DeSantis, Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee, and the Florida Elections Canvassing Commission to take whatever steps are necessary to permit Floridians unable to vote at the polls during Tuesday’s Presidential Preference Primary to request and return a vote-by-mail ballot through March 27.

“We are disappointed that the court denied our renewed motion that sought an extension of the vote-by-mail deadline. However, the case is still active, and we will continue to pursue and fight to ensure that Floridians have the opportunity to cast their ballot,” the group said in a joint statement. “With a general election in November, we are continuing to take action through the current litigation to ensure the state of Florida has a plan and accommodations in place to assure access to the ballot for future elections.”

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Advancement Project National Office is a next-generation, multi-racial civil rights organization. Rooted in the great human rights struggles for equality and justice, we exist to fulfill America’s promise of a caring, inclusive and just democracy. We use innovative tools and strategies to strengthen social movements and achieve high impact policy change. Visit www.advancementproject.org

Demos is a dynamic think-and-do tank that powers the movement for a just, inclusive, multiracial democracy. Through cutting-edge policy research, inspiring litigation, and deep relationships with grassroots organizations, Demos champions solutions that will create a democracy and economy rooted in racial equity. To learn more visit www.demos.org.

The New Florida Majority (NewFM) is an independent political organization working to increase the voting and political power of historically marginalized and excluded constituencies toward an inclusive, equitable, and just Florida. For more information on NewFM, please visit our Website at www.newfloridamajority.org

Dream Defenders is an organization of multiracial, young people in Florida founded in the wake of Trayvon Martin’s murder that are organizing towards a new vision for safety away from prisons. To learn more about us, please visit dreamdefenders.org.

LatinoJustice PRLDEF works to create a more just society by using and challenging the rule of law to secure transformative, equitable and accessible justice, by empowering our community and by fostering leadership through advocacy and education. For more than 40 years, LatinoJustice PRLDEF has acted as an advocate against injustices throughout New York and beyond. To learn more about LatinoJustice, visit www.latinojustice.org