In the case of Democratic Executive Committee of Florida v. Detzner, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida (per Walker, J.) issued the following order:
Defendant Detzner [in his capacity as Florida Secretary of State] is ordered to issue a directive to the supervisors of elections (with this Order attached) advising them (1) Florida’s statutory scheme as it relates to curing mismatched-signature ballots has been applied unconstitutionally; and (2) in light of this Court’s order, they are required to allow voters who have been belatedly notified they have submitted a mismatched-signature ballot to cure their ballots by November 17, 2018, at 5:00 p.m. The supervisors of elections shall allow mis-matched-signature ballots to be cured in the same man-ner and with the same proof a mismatched-signature ballot could have otherwise been cured before November 5, 2018, at 5:00 p.m.
The basis for the decision is effectively set forth in these two paragraphs:
In this case, the Plaintiffs have thrown a red flag. But this is not football. Rather, this is a case about the precious and fundamental right to vote—the right preservative of all other rights. And it is about the right of a voter to have his or her vote counted. There is no doubt there must be election laws. There is no doubt that to run an election, the state must impose deadlines and rules to govern an efficient and transparent election process. There is no doubt that election officials must make certain calls, under the rules, that deserve review. And there is no doubt some of those calls may hinge on highly subjective factors.
The precise issue in this case is whether Florida’s law that allows county election officials to reject vote-by-mail and provisional ballots for mismatched signatures—with no standards, an illusory process to cure, and no process to challenge the rejection—passes constitutional muster. The answer is simple. It does not.