Florida Legislature passes bill to change mail-in voting

Florida’s Legislature passed an election bill on Thursday that alters the way residents vote by mail.

The Republican-controlled Legislature passed the bill in both chambers on a mostly party-line vote. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis already said he plans on signing it.

The bill prevents state agencies from sending mail-in ballots to people who didn’t request one, disallows ballot harvesting, which is the collection of ballots by a third person who then turns them in to election officials, and puts restrictions on the hours of operations for drop boxes.

Previous versions of the bill had eliminated the use of drop boxes, although it was not included in the final draft, according to NPR.

DeSantis will “for sure” sign the legislation, he said.

“We have voter ID. We’ve had voter ID. It works. It’s the right thing to do," DeSantis said on Fox News. "We didn’t do unsolicited mail ballots this last election. We made sure the right people were in place. There was — we counted 11 million votes by midnight on election night. It was free. It was fair. It was transparent.”

In 2016 and 2018, about a third of Florida's voters cast their ballots by mail, and in both elections, more Republicans cast their ballot that way, though Democrats cast more by mail in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to the New York Times.

The bill enforces voter identification laws, which require voters who are registering to provide either a Florida driver's license number, an identification number for those who don’t have a license, or the last four digits of the applicant’s social security number.

“Gov. DeSantis is supportive of S.B. 90, which, if passed, will ensure that Florida remains a national leader in election security, integrity, and transparency,” DeSantis press secretary Cody McCloud told the Washington Examiner after the Senate passed the bill earlier in April.
© 2021 GovernmentExclusive.com, Privacy Policy