After the 2020 Presidential elections, a number of controversial measures were introduced across the country with the aim of strengthening voting security. One of those measures is the Georgia election reform bill that received criticism. Detractors argue that it is similar to the Georgia bill, and Florida Republicans have voted in favor of the voting overhaul bill that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) is expected to sign. In turn, it’s receiving criticism across the state from Democrats like Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who called it another attempt to “keep the ugly legacy of voter suppression alive” in the Sunshine State.
The legislation calls for a number of changes including limiting the use of drop boxes, require voters to request absentee ballots instead of them receiving them automatically from an absentee voting list, adding more identification requirements for anyone requesting an absentee ballot, limiting who can collect and drop off ballots, and it also encourages partisan observers while ballots are being counted. Moreover, it expands a current rule prohibiting outside groups from providing items “with the intent to influence” voters that are within a 150-foot radius of any polling location.
The bill passed along party lines in the House and in the Senate with a 77 to 40 and 23 to 17 vote in the House and Senate respectively. However, Republican state Senator Jeff Brandes voted against it.
On Twitter, Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz expressed her disapproval at the legislation, arguing that “Trump lies about his 2020 loss, so Republicans make it harder for Floridians to vote, keeping the ugly legacy of voter suppression alive to appease a petulant loser.”
Although he hasn’t confirmed it, Governor DeSantis has hinted that he supports the legislation and that he would sign it into law.
Voting is an issue that Republicans have discussed reforming since the culmination of the 2020 election, and more states are expected to introduce similar legislation.