Florida Passes New Elections Bill Adding Restrictions to Vote-by-Mail and Ballot Drop Boxes

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Florida Passes New Elections Bill Adding Restrictions to Vote-by-Mail and Ballot Drop Boxes

By Katabella Roberts, The Epoch Times, April 30, 2021:

April 30, 2021 Updated: April 30, 2021 Florida’s Republican-controlled Senate on April 29 passed a new bill that places several restrictions around vote-by-mail and ballot drop boxes.

The bill, SB 90 (pdf), was passed in the state House 77-40 and in the Senate 23-17. It now goes to Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is expected to sign it.

If signed, it would require signature verification for voters, provided by a “wet signature” physically signed on paper kept on file, and access to drop boxes would be limited to early voting hours unless they are located at election supervisors’ offices. Drop boxes would also have to be monitored in-person by an elections official, and ID would be required when dropping off ballots.

Other aspects in the bill include limitations on who can return a finished mail-in ballot, preventing election officials from entering consent agreements, and requiring voters to request a mail ballot every election cycle, rather than every two, as under current law.

The legislation would also ban anyone from “engaging in any activity with the intent to influence or effect of influencing a voter” but allow election supervisors to provide “non-partisan assistance,” such as giving items, including food and water, to voters within the restricted zones.

The bill also requires supervisors to set and publish drop box locations 30 days before the election. Those locations cannot be moved for any purpose.

SB 90 was amended from a previous stricter version which had originally banned drop boxes completely.

DeSantis has previously expressed his support for enacting stronger election integrity protections and providing unprecedented election transparency for Florida residents.

A spokesperson for Gov. Ron DeSantis said he supports the bill, noting it “will ensure that Florida remains a national leader in election security, integrity and transparency,” ABC News reported.

Democrats, including state Rep. Anna Eskamani, responded to the Senate’s decision on Thursday, calling it a “Georgia-style voter suppression bill” on Twitter.

“It makes it harder to vote by mail, prohibits groups from passing out water to voters and tries to limit ballot boxes. I’m sad but proud of the Democratic Caucus for fighting so hard. Keep fighting,” Eskamani wrote.

Earlier this month, the state of Georgia passed more stringent voting laws which elicited widespread condemnation from Democrats, including President Joe Biden who branded it “Jim Crow in the 21st Century” and “an atrocity.”

The new law adds a host of new voting restrictions, including photo identification requirements for absentee voting, limits on the use of ballot drop boxes, and making it illegal to take food or water to voters in line. It also gives state lawmakers more control over elections.

Other states with GOP-controlled legislatures such as Arizona are also looking at making changes to their mail-in voting systems.


EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

3 replies
  1. Glynnda
    Glynnda says:

    Nice….now can we get to what happened on last Nov 3rd please? I have a feeling Florida RINOS in Tally would rather NOT open serious investigation into Florida voter fraud…it is bad…

    • Royal Brown III
      Royal Brown III says:

      Agree 100% with Glynnda. There was voter fraud in FL especially in the Democrat controlled counties. In truth POTUS Trump won FL by a lot more than 3 1/2%. More like 10% + if take out election fraud.

      Because of our no state income tax; nice weather; reasonable housing costs;d good standard of living; low crime rates, etc. people from leftist Blue states like New York, New Jersey, Michigan, etc. are moving here in droves. Let’s hope they left their leftist voter habits back where they came from because if not they will soon turn FL Blue and ruin our prosperity as well.

  2. Royal Brown III
    Royal Brown III says:

    Yes and this took a tremendous grassroots effort to insure SB 90 did not water down the stronger HB. Those among the 532 conservative members of the Winter Haven 912 who called, emailed and/or tweeted in support of this election integrity law can be very proud of their efforts.

    Royal A. Brown III
    WH 912

    So too can those of us who are FL Heritage Action Sentinels. Our efforts to get election integrity reforms passed before the Florida legislative session ended April 30th included:

    Sending an impressive 29,000 emails through the HA system; making 2,000 phone calls and an untold number of Tweets. Several members traveled to Tallahassee to speak at committees and some wrote letters to the editor. The legislature listened.

    Included in SB90 Election Integrity are:

    Additional identification for absentee ballot requests
    Monitored drop boxes to prevent midnight ballot drops
    A prohibition from special interests funding election operations (ie, Zuck Bucks)
    No mass mailing of absentee ballots
    Real-time reporting
    Observation of ballot duplication and access to the signature matching on absentee ballots
    Legal protections against consent decrees that overstep state law
    and much much more
    The vote for the bill in the Senate was mostly along party lines with all Democrats voting NO and all but one Republican voting YES.

    Thanks for your efforts to get this done!

    Karen Jaroch
    Florida Regional Coordinator
    Heritage Action for America


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