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Florida Republicans barrel ahead with rewriting voting rules

FILE - In this Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, file photo, an election worker stamps a vote-by-mail ballot dropped off by a voter before placing it in an official ballot drop box before at the Miami-Dade County Board of Elections in Doral, Fla. Ballot drop boxes were enormously popular during the 2020 election, with few problems reported. Yet they have drawn the attention of Republican lawmakers in key states who say security concerns warrant new restrictions. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)
FILE - In this Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, file photo, an election worker stamps a vote-by-mail ballot dropped off by a voter before placing it in an official ballot drop box before at the Miami-Dade County Board of Elections in Doral, Fla. Ballot drop boxes were enormously popular during the 2020 election, with few problems reported. Yet they have drawn the attention of Republican lawmakers in key states who say security concerns warrant new restrictions. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Republicans are continuing their push to tighten rules on voting by mail, while Democrats and the county officials responsible for running elections appear powerless to stop them.

A final Senate committee on Tuesday endorsed a measure that Republicans argue will make voting more secure by enacting new ID requirements, restricting who can return completed ballots and placing new rules on ballot drop boxes.

A similar House bill cleared its final committee on Monday, and both measures now head to their respective chambers for floor votes.

Democrats say the changes will make it harder to cast ballots and cause many legitimate ballots to be rejected.