An overwhelming majority of Florida state lawmakers have supported new voting rules that mirror Georgia’s latest electoral reform.
The Sunshine State’s Legislature has passed Senate Bill 90, which limits where ballot drop boxes can be installed for elections, and which Floridians are eligible to use them for voting.
The state’s House voted 77 for and 40 against, while the Senate voted 23 for and 17 against according to the final tally. The bill will now go to Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is expected to sign it into law.
Once enacted, Floridians will need to produce government-issued photo identification when attending a polling station.
“[The Legislature is] deleting a provision that prohibits the use of an address appearing on identification presented by an elector at the polls as a basis to confirm an elector’s legal residence,” the bill’s wording said. “[It is also] deleting a provision that prohibits a clerk or an inspector from asking an elector to provide additional identification information under specified circumstances.”
The bill separately prohibits certain forms of voter “solicitation” at dropbox locations across the state.
“[We are] increasing the no-solicitation zone surrounding a drop box location or the entrance of a polling place or an early voting site wherein certain activities are prohibited,” the wording said. “[We are also] requiring certain vote-by-mail ballot requests to include additional identifying information regarding the requesting elector.”
The rules will mean more stringent requirements for anyone who wants to vote through the U.S. Postal Service. Namely, this includes applying for absentee voting at least once every election year.
“[We are] revising requirements for making true duplicate copies of vote73 by-mail ballots under certain circumstances,” the bill said. “‘[We are also] limiting the duration of requests for vote-by-mail ballots to all elections through [to] the end of the calendar year.”
Anyone who repeatedly tries to forge signatures will find it harder to continue due to more comprehensive record-keeping of signatures that do not match samples on file.
“[We are] requiring supervisors of elections to record whether a voter’s certificate on a vote-by93 mail ballot has a mismatched signature,” the wording said. “[We are also] prohibiting counties, municipalities, and state agencies from sending vote97 by-mail ballots to voters absent a request.”
Minimum timeframes for retaining voter evidence after an election will also be extended.
“[We are] requiring ballots, forms, and election materials to be retained for a specified minimum timeframe following an election,” the bill said. “[We are also] revising the timeframe within which the department must approve or disapprove a voting system submitted for certification.”
In addition to this, an observer must be offered “certain allowances” while duplicating ballots. Voting systems audit reports submitted to the department will also have new minimum timeframes and requirements.
“[We are] requiring a specified report regarding overvotes and undervotes to be submitted with the voting systems audit report,” the wording said. “[We are also] revising the definition of the term ‘immediate family’ to conform to changes made by the act.”
These changes seemingly upset the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, which strangely called the changes a form of “voter suppression.”
“Whether it was counting bubbles on a bar of soap during the Jim Crow-era, or unnecessary identification laws today, some politicians have always tried to suppress the right to vote,” Legislative Director and Senior Policy Counsel Kara Gross said in a statement.
“Certain legislators are silencing Floridians by restricting access to the ballot box [and] our elected officials should not be making it harder for Floridians to lawfully exercise their right to vote. It is a sad day for our democracy,” she added.