On Thursday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed and approved legislation that will make it more difficult for state residents to vote.
According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, DeSantis has long touted the law as a fraud-fighting measure—even though there is no evidence that any widespread voter fraud occurred in the 2020 general election.
Black Enterprise notes that the bill, also known as SB 90, was introduced to the Florida Legislature around the same time Republican-dominated governments in other states introduced similar acts across the country.
These acts were initiated after the Republican Party lost several states it had won in the 2016 presidential election, including Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.
In each and every instance, conservatives have claimed that voter fraud contributed to former President Donald Trump’s loss—even though Trump lost to Joe Biden by a wide margin.
The new law, says the Sun-Sentinel, creates a number of voting-related restrictions, such as:
- Limitations on the use of ballot drop boxes; and
- Faster expiry dates for mail-in ballots; and
- New, cumbersome procedures for the collection and counting of mail-in ballots.
The legislation will also prevent any individual from possessing or returning more than two mail-in ballots at a time. While this latter measure intends to prevent “ballot harvesting,” there is—yet again—no evidence indicating that ballot harvesting occurred on a large scale in Florida or elsewhere in the nation.
“We think this will make it even better as we go forward, so we’re proud of the strides that we’ve made,” DeSantis said shortly after signing the bill. “We’re not resting on our laurels, and me signing this bill here says, Florida your vote counts. Your vote is going to be cast with integrity and transparency, and this is a great place for democracy.”
The Sun-Sentinel observes that DeSantis, a Republican, appears to have scheduled the signing to coincide with Fox News’ schedule for its “Fox & Friends” program.
Democrats and other liberals have since criticized SB 90 for being overly restrictive—and, apparently, pointless. Sean Foreman, a political scientist associated with Barry University, told the Sun-Sentinel that Gov. DeSantis himself praised the integrity of Florida’s 2020 election shortly after it was conducted and concluded.
“DeSantis touted how successful the Florida elections were run in November. The day after the election, DeSantis said other states should follow Florida’s model. So why are we changing Florida’s model?” Foreman asked.