On Thursday, May 6, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida signed into law the Georgia-style election bill backed by Republicans, which places more restrictions on mail-in voting and ballot drop boxes, reducing risks of forged voting results.
Senate Bill 90 puts a limit on where drop boxes shall be placed, as well as a more stringent identification process for voters. Much like the Georgia election law, certain kinds of soliciting of voters at dropbox locations will be prohibited.
DeSantis said that the new legislation prunes down possibilities for election fraudulence.
“Right now I have what we think is the strongest election integrity measures in the country,” DeSantis said. “We’re also banning ballot harvesting. We’re not going to let political operatives go and get satchels of votes and dump them in some dropbox.”
Among changes that Floridians expect include voter signature authentication, which will be compared with a “wet signature” that the individual provided on paper kept on file. Other measures include increasing the distance between each voter at polling places, revised voting locations, new requirements for observers at ballot drop boxes, and more robust standards for identification with mail-in ballots.
“Me signing this bill here says: ‘Florida, your vote counts. Your vote is going to cast with integrity and transparency, and this is a great place for democracy,’” DeSantis proudly announced when he signed the bill into law.
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) May 6, 2021
According to Business Insider, while the bill was approved almost entirely along party lines by the state’s Senate and House, it was opposed by one lone Republican, Sen. Jeff Brandes. On April 30, the Senate passed a revised version of the bill that the House voted through two days before, the last day of Florida’s legislative session.
American Civil Liberties Union of Florida opposed Senate Bill 90, calling it a form of “voter suppression.”
“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,” condemned Kara Gross, Legislative Director, and Senior Policy Counsel.
As DeSantis signed the bill at a Hilton in West Palm Beach, he allowed only Fox News program “Fox & Friends” to cover the moment and blocked reporters from all other outlets.