"We’re not issuing challenges unless it’s really blatant," Kelley said, citing one example as someone bold enough to be spotted voting twice.
Kelley’s group already has filed a challenge questioning the status of 76 Hillsborough voters who she claimed are illegally registered because they are felons. Kelley sent the list to the Hillsborough County supervisor of elections, which then sent it to the Florida Division of Elections. Yet the people on the list don’t know their rights are being challenged because they haven’t been notified.
They will learn of the challenge only when they go vote. Then, according to Florida law, they will be allowed to cast only a provisional ballot, which has a higher rejection rate than regular ballots.
If groups like Tampa Vote Fair seek to limit access to voting, groups like the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law seeks to protect access to the polls.
"We’re well aware of TampaVote Fair," Lindenbaum said. "We’ll be watching them closely."
Lindenbaum’s group is leading the Election Protection Coalition, which seeks to provide education to voters so they aren’t intimidated from casting a ballot. They will have 300 field lawyers or paralegals visit large minority precincts throughout Florida.
They will be joined by groups like the SEIU Florida State Council, the governing arm of the labor union, which will have 230 field organizers, and the Florida Coalition on Black Civic Participation, which will have 200 people. Their main concern is that voters will feel comfortable enough to vote.
"I hope this is a smooth election day, that our phones will be quiet," said Lindenbaum. "Unfortunately, I don’t know if that’s going to happen."