After weeks of negotiations, the Florida Legislature passed a new elections bill on Thursday that places new restrictions on one’s ability to vote-by-mail and through ballot drop boxes. SB 90 passed the Senate 23-17 and the House 77-40, NBC reported.
Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) will soon be signing the legislation into effect which will lead to multiple changes to Florida’s prior elections laws; which includes placing constraints on ballot drop boxes, voter registration and voting-by-mail, to name a few.
Constraints on ballot drop boxes include limiting who can drop off the ballot and drop boxes cannot be moved within 30 days of an election. There are also new restrictions on where they can be placed and an elected official will be required to observe the ballot drop box once they are opened.
Under the new elections bill, those who wish to vote-by-mail are required to vote regularly. There are also new restrictions on third-party voter registration organizations and the bill adds new powers for partisan election observers.
While Democratic lawmakers opposed the bill and heavily criticized it for "restricting minority voters," Republican lawmakers were happy to see legislation protecting the sanctity of elections pass.
I take some issue with the fact that we're trying to somehow restrict the vote. There are more ways to vote in Florida and a longer opportunity than just about any state in the nation," Republican state Rep. Ralph Massullo said. "Fraud will be reduced as much as we can possibly do it with the work we're doing today," he said.