Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a new bill into law Thursday to strengthen voter identification, prohibit mass mail-in voter ballots and ban ballot harvesting.
He expressed pride over the 2020 election integrity for the Sunshine State but said he believes there is always room to grow and improve.
"Florida took action this legislative session to increase transparency and strengthen the security of our elections," said DeSantis during the intimate ceremony. "Floridians can rest assured that our state will remain a leader in ballot integrity. Elections should be free and fair, and these changes will ensure this continues to be the case in the Sunshine State."
Florida took action this legislative session to increase transparency and strengthen the security of our elections. I'd like to thank the leaders on this issue – @WiltonSimpson, @ChrisSprowls, @dennisbaxley, and @GovGoneWild pic.twitter.com/ZCdrPm2rsZ— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) May 6, 2021
The state of Florida requires identification to vote, but Senate Bill 90 requires voters to provide additional forms of identification when they change any of their voting information or when requesting to vote by mail.
DeSantis and backers of the bill believe this will prevent fraud and better secure the voter rolls.
On mass mailing of ballots, the new bill will prevent voters from requesting mail-in ballots for more than one election cycle. By banning mass mailing, the bill ensures the vote-by-mail ballots are sent only to those who requested them.
The bill also promotes election integrity via a canvassing board, which each political party and candidate may observe. They may also appoint watchers on their behalf to do so.
Senate Bill 90 additionally requires every county have access to live voter turnout data. The supervisors of elections will post at least once an hour, beginning at 7 a.m. on Election Day, the number of mail-in ballots received and the number of those yet to be counted.
"Every Floridian can request a mail-in ballot, vote early or cast a ballot on Election Day. Anyone who reads this new law will see that it keeps voting easy and makes cheating harder," Jason Snead, the executive director of the Honest Elections Project, told Fox News, the only journalists privy to the signing. "Maintaining a robust election system is a constant process of learning and improvement... Voters deserve the best election system we can deliver, and as Florida has shown, that work is never complete."
DeSantis' bill is the latest in a string of bills signed into law to increase election integrity around the country. Iowa and Kentucky passed updated election laws following the 2020 election. Georgia followed suit in March, its bill including new identification requirements for mail-in voters and limits set on drop boxes. Texas followed Florida's lead and passed a law early Friday morning after an all-night debate.
Senate Bill 90 has already been met with opposition and one legal battle.
The NAACP filed a complaint in federal court citing the law violates the U.S. Constitution, the Voting Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
BREAKING: Minutes after Governor DeSantis signs new voter suppression law, @LWVFlorida, @BlackVotersMtr, @ActiveRetirees file federal court lawsuit.— Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) May 6, 2021
Proud to be part of the legal team supporting these great organizations protecting the right to vote!https://t.co/KvPqM6wvhA
Outrage sparked among members of the press over Fox News' "exclusive" access to the signing. Fox News clarified in a statement after the event that it did not know the event was a bill signing, and said that neither the network or the Fox & Friends show "requested or mandated the event be exclusive to FOX News Media entities."
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