Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a new voting bill into law on Thursday morning – and the Democrats are imploding over it.
The move by DeSantis makes his state the latest GOP-leaning state to enact voting changes after the shady 2020 presidential election.
DeSantis said that the new law would continue to keep things like mail voting accessible while also protecting 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. We’re not gonna let political operatives go and get satchels of votes to dump them in some drop box.”
DeSantis added: “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.”
Democrats, of course, have slammed the Florida bill as “voter suppression” just as they have in other states that have rolled out similar reforms.
The White House condemned Florida’s new voting legislation as a step in the “wrong direction.”
“The 2020 election was one of the most secure elections in American history. There’s no legitimate reason to change the rules right now to make it harder to vote. That’s built on a lie,” deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre lied before reporters aboard Air Force One.
“The only reason to change the rules right now is if you don’t like who voted, and that should be out of bounds,” she claimed.
“There’s some states with bad laws trying to make them good. And some states with good laws trying to make them even better. That’s moving forward. Florida is moving in the wrong direction,” the press secretary continued attacking Florida for securing elections in the state even more – something the White House apparently does not approve of.
The new Florida law was immediately challenged in court by Democrat lawyer Marc Elias and even his announcement of the lawsuit contained propaganda aimed to convince people that the law was “voter suppression.”
“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 an omnibus approach, addressing many issues at once, similar to the approach of an 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.
Those groups said their goal was simply to help increase voter turnout and assist stressed government agencies. But some Republicans said the funding was targeted at blue areas, therefore potentially favoring Democrats.
The bill also allows drop boxes but with some 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.” So the new law, 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.
Conservative groups that have been supportive of new election security laws lauded DeSantis and the new law on Thursday.
“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.
Author: Antonio Gutierrez