DeSantis Signs Voting Bill Limiting Mail-In Voting, Drop Boxes
'The strongest election integrity measures in the country'
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed a voting bill that will allow his state to enact voting changes following the 2020 presidential election.
DeSantis said the new law would keep mail voting accessible but also protect election integrity.
"I have what we think is the strongest election integrity measures in the country," DeSantis said.
"We're making sure we're enforcing voter ID."
"We're also banning ballot harvesting," he added.
"We're not gonna let political operatives go and get satchels of votes to dump them in some drop box."
"We're also prohibiting mass mailing of balloting."
"We've had absentee voting in Florida for a long time. You request the ballot. You get it."
"And you mail it in. But to just indiscriminately send them out is not a recipe for success."
Unsurprisingly, Democrats blasted the bill calling it "voter suppression."
Others claim such bills are based on the falsehood that the 2020 presidential election saw widespread fraud.
But DeSantis touted the security of the 2020 election in Florida but said more needs to be done for the future.
Democrat lawyer Marc Elias immediately challenged in court.
"REAKING: Minutes after Governor DeSantis signs new voter suppression law, @LWVFlorida, @BlackVotesMtr, @ActiveRetirees file federal court lawsuit," Elias tweeted.
"Proud to be part of the legal team supporting these great organizations protecting the right to vote!"
"SB 90 does not impede all of Florida’s voters equally," the lawsuit alleges.
"It is crafted to and will operate to make it more difficult for certain types of voters to participate in the state’s elections, including those voters who generally wish to vote with a vote-by-mail ballot and voters who have historically had to overcome substantial hurdles to reach the ballot box, such as Florida's senior voters, youngest voters, and minority voters."
The bill takes a similar approach to the election law that Georgia enacted earlier this year.
Also among its provisions is a "prohibition on the use of private funds for election-related expenses," which is a response to the fact Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and others provided funding to some states and cities last year to help run the election.
The bill also allows drop boxes, but it comes with restrictions.
"Drop boxes must be geographically located so as to provide all voters in the county with an equal opportunity to cast a ballot," the bill says, and "must be monitored in person."
DeSantis said he is "not a fan" of drop boxes but that the legislature "wanted to keep them."
DeSantis said, "The drop boxes will be available only when they're monitored and during regular voting hours."
"You can't just leave these boxes out where there's not supervision all hours of the night," the governor added.
"Governor DeSantis has led the fight for election integrity reforms in Florida every step of the way. We applaud the governor for signing SB 90 this morning, a strong bill that will ensure it remains easy to vote and hard to cheat in the Sunshine State," Jessica Anderson, the executive director of Heritage Action, said in a statement.
"Every Floridian can request a mail-in ballot, vote early, or cast a ballot on Election Day. Anyone who reads this new law will see that it keeps voting easy and makes cheating harder," added Jason Snead, the executive director of the Honest Elections Project.
"Maintaining a robust election system is a constant process of learning and improvement…
"Voters deserve the best election system we can deliver, and as Florida has shown, that work is never complete."