Desiline Victor, the 102-year-old Florida voter who stood in line for hours to cast her ballot, may see her determination memorialized in a voting-rights act with her name on it. The Advancement Project, along with civil rights organization Florida New Majority and Florida State Senator Oscar Braynon, have introduced a legislative effort aimed at protecting and improving the right to vote in Florida. The organizations are joining Desiline Victor, whose experience was referred to by President Obama during his State of the Union address. Victor was the oldest guest ever to attend a State of the Union address.
Senator Braynon’s bill–SB 888 or Desiline’s Free and Fair Democracy Act–hopes to “modernize the state’s voting system and enshrine the right to vote into state law,” according to an Advancement Project press release.
Braynon stated, “Voting is a fundamental building block of our democracy. By making it easier for all Floridians to exercise this human and American right, we are helping to ensure that people remain confident and engaged in their communities.” The bill would make the voting registration process more convenient for voters by allowing them to update their registration address at the polls when they move across country lines, in addition to creating automatic voter registration at the Department of Highway Safety and Voter Vehicles.
The announcement was publicized at the North Miami Public Library, where Victor stood in line for more than three hours until she was finally able to cast her ballot last November.
The Advancement Project has released a behind-the-scenes video featuring Desiline Victor, and highlights the president’s introduction in his State of the Union speech. “It is not that I wanted to lose all that time voting for a Democrat. It was about being a part of the democratic process,” the Haitian native says in the video, according to a translation from Creole.
On March 5, participating organizations and allies will hold “Awake the State” rallies aimed at voting rights and reforms and improving Florida’s overall voting system.