DORAL, Fla. – Despite no elections issues in 2020, Florida’s newly crafted bill is among other changes Republican lawmakers handed up to their voters.
“I think these reforms make sure we’re ahead of the curve,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday. He is expected to sign the voting bill into law.
Florida Democrats fought the elections bill from the day it was filed, and in the end, the most controversial ideas did not make it into its 84 pages.
For example, there was no tossing out of the current vote by mail applications.
Instead, voters who choose mail ballots will have to request one for every next general election year.
To supporters, that will better keep up with a voter’s status.
Opponents, though, have a prediction: “It will lead to fewer people being able to vote, fewer people being able to register to vote,” said Abdelilah Skhir of the Florida American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
“We come in and start adding things that, in my opinion, restrict individuals’ right to vote,” state Rep. Bobby DuBose, a Democrat from Broward County, said Sunday on Local 10′s “This Week in South Florida.”
On the same show, state Sen. Ana Maria Rodriguez, a Republican representing Miami-Dade and Monroe counties, said: “I think the bill does a very good job at making it equitable for Floridians to vote.”
As for the popular ballot drop boxes, they will be available at early voting locations during those hours and are permitted at other locations. And they will have to be supervised.
And the buffer around voters at polling sites meant to prevent in-your-face campaigning is already law — the bill extends the distance from 100 feet to 150 feet.