Florida Department of State
Kurt S. Browning
Secretary of State
For Immediate Release
March 25, 2008
Voter Registration Deadline Upheld by Federal Court
(March 25, 2008) – Today the United States District Court, Southern District, upheld the statutory deadline for filing voter registration applications 29 days before an election. The Legislature passed the registration deadline to enable election officials to complete all necessary election administration duties in an orderly fashion before an election.
“As elections officers, we applaud the court for upholding this good law which is critical to helping elections officers achieve orderly and reliable elections,” said Secretary of State Kurt S. Browning.
The Secretary of State defended the constitutionality of the deadline, stating the registration deadline promotes a legitimate state objective of orderly, accurate, and reliable elections. Several supervisors of elections from counties throughout Florida testified in support of this law. The court ruled that the registration deadline enables election officials to give due attention to the countless number of mandated essential tasks imposed on them by federal and state law, by candidates and voters, by unforeseeable contingencies, and by the pressing necessities of election administration.
In today’s ruling, Judge King found that the book closing deadline “is a reasonable, non-discriminatory restriction that advances an important state interest in the conduct of an honest, fair and orderly election…Florida provides ample opportunity for all its citizens to register to vote well in advance of the registration deadline.”