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February 16, 2024
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A strong and healthy democracy reflects the will of the people. It gives everyone an equal opportunity to participate and have their vote counted, regardless of race, gender, wealth, or social status. It ensures that all voters have the ability to advocate for themselves and their communities.   It depends on all of us to take part and strengthen our democracy together, and science has a crucial role to play. The science of elections can help us identify evidence-based best practices to improve voter access, increase public trust in the election process, and ensure fair representation so that elected officials can be held accountable to the interests of their voters.  Past UCS work has called out the role of disinformation in weakening our democracy, the dangers of artificial intelligence in elections, and how voting restrictions harm public health. The 2024 election will have consequential outcomes and we want to ensure that everyone eligible can vote and
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February 12, 2024
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TALLAHASSEE — While saying Florida has repeatedly changed laws to “target” ways Black voters cast ballots, a federal judge Thursday closed the door on allegations that key parts of a 2021 elections law were unconstitutional. Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker issued a 17-page order after the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last year overturned a ruling in which he found the law improperly discriminated against Black voters. The Atlanta-based appeals court sent the case back to Walker to address two major issues. Walker, in Thursday’s order, appeared to criticize the appeals court for “reweighing” facts in the case. But he entered a judgment in favor of the state, concluding that plaintiffs had not met a legal test for showing that the changes in the law “unduly burden” First Amendment and equal protection rights.
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February 8, 2024
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State Voices Florida was proud to take part in a rally in support of the Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore Voting Rights Act at the Florida Capitol on Wednesday, February 7. We want to extend our thanks to Equal Ground and  the NAACP of Florida for planning and putting on this event. It was a joyous occasion with many different organizations coming together in solidarity.

While it has no chance of passing this session, it will be the most important piece of voting rights legislation in the history of Florida whenever it does become law.

The legislation is named in honor of Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore, two of Florida’s most important voting rights advocates who died championing the right to vote for Black Floridians.

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February 8, 2024
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State Voices joined with other supporters outside of the Florida Supreme Court in support of Amendment 4. This is the abortion ballot initiative that would legalize reproductive freedom in the Florida Constitution. The Florida Supreme Court reviewed the ballot language on Wednesday, February 7. As Communications Director Larry Hannan explains in the video below, the Supreme Court reviewed whether the ballot language was clear for voters.

Larry was one of the many who showed up for the Supreme Court oral argument to show their support for reproductive freedom. Now that the ballot signature requirement has been achieved we still have the challenge of getting people to the polls in November. Polling shows that the majority of Floridians support Amendment 4, but we must get to 60% to win.

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February 6, 2024
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The disagreement has kept potentially 26,000 kids from getting state-subsidized health insurance. Gov. Ron DeSantis is suing to toss new federal guidelines that require kids to keep their state-subsidized health care insurance even if their parents skip premium payments. If parents don’t pay premiums and kids are allowed to stay on the state-subsidized insurance, as the feds are requiring, the new rules would be costly, the state contends. Estimates are that it could add up to nearly $30 million in unpaid premiums under the current system and nearly $50 million under the state’s expansion of Florida KidCareapproved last year, according to a 411-page complaint the state filed in federal court.
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