AG Paxton Files Brief Defending Florida and Other States’ Legal Authority to Regulate Their Own Elections

Ken Paxton

AUSTIN – Attorney General Ken Paxton today joined Louisiana, Alabama, and Georgia in filing a brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, urging it to overturn a district court ruling that throws Florida’s election recount into more uncertainty and ultimately threatens states’ legal authority to regulate their own elections.

Earlier today, a district court judge declared that the procedures for implementing the signature-match requirement of Florida’s election law is unconstitutional. The court ruled that Florida voters whose mail-in and provisional ballots were rejected due to issues with their signatures will have two more days to resolve the problems and possibly have their votes counted in the U.S. Senate race between incumbent Bill Nelson and Governor Rick Scott, who leads by fewer than 13,000 votes.

“Using the courts to invalidate election law passed by a state legislature and to change the rules because someone is unhappy with the outcome is unfair to the candidates and voters, and it undermines the public’s confidence in the integrity of the electoral and judicial processes,” Attorney General Paxton said. “The issues in this case could have been raised in legislative debate or challenged in lawsuits long before election day.”

In their friend-of-the-court brief, Attorney General Paxton and his counterparts reminded the 11th Circuit that the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized that states retain the power to regulate their own elections. Longstanding Florida election laws specify that mail-in ballots must be received by the close of the polls on election day and that mail-in ballots must be authenticated by a matching signature.

View the friend-of-the-court brief here: