After Georgia implemented a new election law that has drawn heavy criticism, Florida Republicans are now facing scrutiny over a bill that would ban giving water to voters within 150 feet from the voting area. H.B. 7041 was recommended by an elections committee last week along party lines, and Florida Democrats are slamming the bill.
Florida State Rep. Blaise Ingoglia (R) clarified that the ban would include “food and beverages,” and he explained that the decision is an effort to improve voter confidence in light of the 2020 presidential election.
“We should never rest up on our laurels and we should never pass up an opportunity to make a good thing better,” Ingoglia added.
In contrast, a number of Democrats have vocally opposed the restrictions implemented in Georgia. President Joe Biden (D) called the restrictions “outrageous,” and Democratic leadership in Florida is now slamming H.B. 7041, calling it an effort to make voting more difficult for Floridians.
On Twitter, Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D) shared her disapproval of the bill, expressing that “the FL GOP wants to make it harder to vote by mail, to vote early and to vote in person.” “Working class and communities of color face the longest lines,” she added, commenting that “depriving them relief is voter suppression of the cruelest kind.”
Republicans are not saying that food and beverages are strictly prohibited, just not within 150 of the polling area. So, those votes who may be in line and are 150 1/2 feet away from the polls can eat and drink all they want.
The bigger issue here is who is considered “working class” and why are “communities of color” facing such long lines?
During the 2020 presidential election, hour-long waits to vote were registered at the Coral Ridge Mall in Fort Lauderdale. This mall is nestled in a very affluent, mostly-white neighborhood along U.S. 1.
The long lines are found in most heavily-populated areas of South Florida, including many areas within the Hispanic communities in Miami, and many white areas like Aventura, Fort Lauderdale, and Hollywood.
The FL GOP wants to make it harder to vote by mail, to vote early and to vote in person. Working class and communities of color face the longest lines. Depriving them relief is voter suppression of the cruelest kind. https://t.co/fMmC3jEVEs
— Debbie Wasserman Schultz (@DWStweets) March 30, 2021