Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill that would improve the security of Florida’s elections.
“I have what we think is the strongest election integrity measures in the country,” said DeSantis. “We’re making sure we’re enforcing voter ID… We’re also banning ballot harvesting. 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,” continued DeSantis. “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.”
Democrats have claimed the bill as “voter suppression.” The law was immediately challenged in court by a Democrat lawyer, Mark Elias.
“BREAKING: Minutes after Governor DeSantis signs new voter suppression law, @LWVFlorida, @BlackVotesMtr, @ActiveRetirees file federal court lawsuit,” said Elias. “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,” claims the lawsuit. “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 NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) also challenged the law, alleging that the law violates the Constitution and the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
“The law’s suppressive and discriminatory provisions make it clear that the Florida Legislature’s goal is to erect additional hurdles to inhibit Florida voters, especially disabled voters, Black voters, and Latino voters, from accessing the ballot box,” said LDF attorney Zachery Morris.
The bill also adds a provision that prohibits “the use of private funds for election-related expenses,” which appears to be a response to several billionaires providing funding to municipalities in order to assist elections.
The bill also addresses drop boxes. “Drop boxes must be geographically located so as to provide all voters in the county with an equal opportunity to cast a ballot,” says the bill, adding that they “must be monitored in person.”
“Governor DeSantis has led the fight for election integrity reforms in Florida every step of the way,” said Jessica Anderson, the executive director of Heritage Action. “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.”
“Every Floridian can request a mail-in ballot, vote early, or cast a ballot on Election Day,” said Jason Snead, the executive director of the Honest Elections Project. “Anyone who reads this new law will see that it keeps voting easy, and makes cheating harder. 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.”