Florida Republicans pass election bill limiting access to vote
Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will sign Senate Bill 90, which restricts voting rights access for millions in the Sunshine State.
The legislature of the state of Florida has passed Senate Bill 90, which will restrict voting rights access for millions in the state and make it harder for people to vote.
The bill will create new restrictions by adding more ID and signature requirements for voting by mail, as well as limit who can return a mail-in ballot. The bill will also expand the observation power of political parties to observe the tabulation of ballots.
Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has said he will sign it.
“We’ve had voter ID. It works. It’s the right thing to do,” DeSantis told CNN, even though he consistently claims that Florida’s 2020 election was “fair and transparent, and the reforms we have coming will make it even better.”
Florida Republicans all claim that their 2020 election was fair and successful, but that the measures are preventative.
Florida is one of 47 states where bills to restrict voter access have been introduced since the “Big Lie” of the 2020 presidential election claiming fraud was the source of former President Donald Trump‘s loss to Joe Biden.
State Senator Audrey Gibson, a Democrat, said, “This bill is just a vindictive way of trying to punish people for an election that some people just didn’t like at the national level.”
The Florida legislation, like that in Georgia, limits access to drop boxes for absentee ballots. The ballots must be staffed in person by a poll worker. They also must be set up 30 days before an election and can not be moved for any purpose. Access to the boxes must also only be available during early voting hours.
Democratic state representative Michael Grieco referenced the backlash that occurred in Georgia, saying, “That bill that was passed in the state just north of us sent us a message, and the response to that bill should let us know we should not be doing this.”
As with Georgia, experts note that the changes in the state will most deeply affect Black, brown and low-income voters. “I think it will target people of color,” Democratic state Sen. Randolph Bracy told CNN. “It will affect them.”