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Lawsuits and last minute redistricting causing ‘mad scramble’ for Florida’s election supervisors

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Florida’s election supervisors are raising the alarm ahead of the upcoming August Primary, saying lawsuits challenging some of the state’s election laws and the late adoption of new congressional maps could lead to voter confusion

With less than four months to prepare, supervisors have to be ready to pivot at a moment’s notice.

The Florida Legislature has passed two sweeping election reform bills in as many years.

Parts of both of those bills are on hold, at least for now, because of a ruling by a federal judge last month.

That ruling requires Florida to get preclearance from a court before changing certain election laws.

The bill signed by Governor Monday is largely unaffected by the ruling, but President of the Florida Association of Supervisors of Elections Wesley Wilcox explained it did put many changes made last year on hold.

“Any section that deals with the voter registration form itself, the statewide voter registration application, third-party voter registrations, drop boxes. All of those are unenforceable at this point in time,” said Wilcox.

And because the state is appealing the ruling, those changes could come back into play at the drop of a hat.

“We just don’t know where we’re going to be over the next 60 days,” said Wilcox.

Wilcox also told us redistricting this year created even more challenges.

Because the maps were finalized so late, educating voters on their new precincts in time will take a herculean effort.

“It’s a mad scramble across the state to be able to redistrict all of our jurisdictions and then be able to provide the data back out to the voters,” said Wilcox.

We touched base with State Senator Travis Hutson on Tuesday.

He sponsored this year’s election bill and was integral to the passage of last year’s bill.

He told us he’s heard the concerns of election supervisors and has requested the Secretary of State expedite a resolution in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeal to ensure there’s some finality in time for the upcoming elections.

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