Florida legislature passes reform bill to tighten voter integrity, waiting on governor’s signature

The overblown controversy generated by Democrats when Georgia Republicans passed a sweeping voter reform bill could be about to happen again — this time in the neighboring state of Florida.

According to Fox News, Florida Republicans and residents of the state are currently awaiting the signature of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ (R) to make official a new bill that aims to strengthen voter integrity in the state after the 2020 elections, which set new records for voter turnout, including the use of mail-in ballots. 

All signs point to a high likelihood that DeSantis will sign the bill, known as SB 90, into law as soon as this coming week.

What will the bill do?

The new bill, which was passed through the Florida legislature on a party-line Republican vote, will initiate a number of new changes for future elections in the Sunshine State, which Republicans argue are necessary to mitigate future voter and ballot fraud issues.

The legislation, which is already being labeled as racist by Democrats, includes changes to how the state deals with mail-in ballots, with a special focus on drop boxes. The bill will place “limits on who could drop off voters’ ballots at drop boxes, a ban on moving drop boxes within 30 days of elections, restrictions on where drop boxes could be placed and a requirement that they would all have to be monitored by elections officials whenever they’re open,” according to NBC News.

SB 90 will also place limits on what can be handed to voters waiting in line, including any election-related information.

Restrictions will also be placed on third-party groups who register voters, which is presumably meant to severely restrict the practice of “ballot harvesting,” which Republicans say is rife for fraud while Democrats claim it is essential for voters who lack the resources to get to the ballot box.

Included in the bill will also be a “live turnout data” dashboard that aims to make Election Day turnout data more accessible and transparent for campaigns, poll watchers and other officials who value such data.

The backlash

It’s unclear if Florida’s new voting laws will whip up the same level of frenzy and “woke” corporate reactions that took place after Georgia passed its own voting reform laws, but a number of groups and individuals are already expressing their outrage.

An organization known as the National Vote at Home Institute said SB 90 “would make a more hostile voting environment in a state that otherwise has made voting easy and accessible for dozens of elections prior to 2020.”

“Why do we think there’s a need to fix something that is not broken?” state Rep. Dianne Hart (D) said of the bill. “Not a single person in favor of this bill has been able to produce one example of one incident of fraud that this legislation is supposed to prevent.”

While the bill might spark a new round of knee-jerk reactions from the left, future elections in Florida will be run a little tighter than they have been before, with more tools available to mitigate potential instances of fraud.

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