The Republican-controlled Florida state legislature passed a bill last week making a number of changes to election rules that, according to Republicans who backed the measure, are intended to strengthen the integrity of the ballot and protect against potential voter fraud in future elections.
While President Joe Biden and Democrats have expressed fervent opposition to any such election and voter reforms, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is expected to sign the bill into law in the near future, ABC News reports.
The governor previously signaled his support for the measure, and a spokesperson for DeSantis has reportedly said the bill “will ensure that Florida remains a national leader in election security, integrity, and transparency.”
DeSantis expected to sign bill
One America News reported that DeSantis had already spoken highly of the election reform measure while it was still in the debate stage in the state’s legislature.
“There should be no ballot harvesting in the state of Florida. One person, one vote. Not bring in hundreds of ballots without any supervision,” DeSantis said in March. “We also can’t allow private groups to pour millions of dollars into the administration of our elections. This is a public function and should be done without the type of private interference that we saw in other states.
“So let’s stay ahead of the curve on election administration. We never want to see the chaos of 20 years ago rear its ugly head in the state of Florida ever again,” he added.
Common sense reforms decried as “racist”
ABC News noted that the election reform bill, known as SB 90, imposes new restrictions on how mail-in ballot drop-boxes are utilized in future elections, prohibits the use of private funding for election-related expenses, and limits “ballot harvesting” — the collection of numerous absentee ballots to be turned in at one time by a third party — to only individuals related to the voters for whom they are turning in an absentee ballot.
The bill would also require voters to show a valid ID when updating their registration or requesting a mail-in ballot, prevent the blanket mailing of unsolicited absentee ballots to all voters, outlaw efforts to influence voters waiting in line at a polling location, and allow for the canvassing of mail-in ballots prior to Election Day while making the canvassing and counting processes more transparent to both neutral and partisan observers, among other things.
Politico reports that Democrats and voting rights activists are outraged over the election reform bill, which was decried as a racist measure intended to discriminate against minority voters by making it more difficult to obtain and cast a mail-in ballot.
But according to ABC News, state Rep. Tommy Gregory (R) countered those claims and instead insisted: “This bill is not about making it harder to vote. This bill is about making it harder to vote illegally.”
DeSantis unlikely to back down
Judging by the overwrought way in which many Democrats, including President Biden, reacted to a similar election reform measure recently passed in Georgia, it wouldn’t be the least bit surprising to see a full-scale rhetorical assault launched by the left against Gov. DeSantis in the coming days.
Whether Democratic and media misinformation about the Florida election reforms will result in similar boycotts and corporate virtue-signaling is another matter entirely, but DeSantis has already shown that he is unafraid to engage in partisan brawling and won’t back down from fighting for what he believes is right.