DeSantis calls for end to ballot harvesting, mass mailing of unsolicited ballots

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis held a news conference Friday morning at the Hilton Airport Palm Beach, where he announced his proposals regarding elections ahead of the upcoming legislative session.

The governor said he wants no ballot harvesting in the Sunshine State in which volunteers handle loads of absentee ballots to drop off at polling locations or election offices.

He said Florida is “not a big ballot harvesting state as it is,” but said he “doesn’t want any room where it can be abused.”

DeSantis said he also wants to end the mass mailing of unsolicited ballots.

“It doesn’t work,” he said, adding that ballots are often sent to residents who have long left the area. “I think it creates a lot of hazards, a lot of problems.”

DeSantis said Florida has a “long history of absentee ballots, and that’s fine,” but said absentee ballots should be only available by request, so elections officials can verify that the individual is a legitimate voter.

He said the state also needs to address drop boxes and believes voters should only submit ballots by mail or by dropping ballots off at their elections office.

“Any drop boxes need to be monitored by the election’s office the entire time. You can’t leave these boxes unattended,” he said.

DeSantis said counties in Florida should continue real time reporting results so there is more transparency and accountability.

The governor also spoke about vaccines and COVID-19 policy, wrapping up his speech by taking a jab at President Joe Biden.

“We’re also not going to let Joe Biden quarantine Florida or ban any travel to Florida,” he said. “Not gonna happen. Nope.”

However, the Biden Administration has made it clear that they have no plans to ban travel to Florida.

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