Best Of: Brennan Center says ‘piecemeal implementation’ of new voting law is illegal
In a May article, The Florida Independent’s Travis Pillow documented how Secretary of State Kurt Browning’s office was rushing to immediately implement Florida’s controversial new election law in 62 of Florida’s 67 counties, while holding off in the remaining five counties till the U.S. Department of Justice approves the changes — a necessary step under the Voting Rights Act because of the history of discriminatory voting rules in those five counties.
In a June letter (.pdf) sent to Browning, the Brennan Center for Justice’s Lee Rowland cited Pillow’s reporting to make the case that the secretary’s “piecemeal implementation” of the state’s new election rules “violates Florida state law.”
“We believe that such piecemeal implementation violates Florida state law,” Rowland wrote, directly referencing Pillow’s story.
She then urged Browning to rescind his decision: “In accordance with Florida law, and in order to maintain uniform application of the election laws, the Secretary of State should instruct county supervisors of elections not to enforce the provisions of H.B. 1355 until it may be applied lawfully and uniformly in all of Florida’s counties. Partial county-based implementation of H.B. 1355 will result in disparate election laws and unequal treatment of voters across the state in violation of Florida law.”