FL Gov. DeSantis Signs Election Integrity Bill, Democrats Call it 'Voter Suppression'

By Michael W. Chapman | May 6, 2021 | 12:35pm EDT
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R)    (Getty Images)
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) (Getty Images)

(CNS News) -- Today, Florida's Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, signed an election integrity bill into law that is nearly identical to the voting rules in blue states such as New York and New Jersey, but which differs in that it requires voter ID to obtain a mail-in ballot. Democrats and many of their allies in the leftist media described the new law as "restrictive" and "voter suppression."

“Florida took action this legislative session to increase transparency and strengthen the security of our elections,” said Gov. Ron DeSantis in a statement. “Floridians can rest assured that our state will remain a leader in ballot integrity. Elections should be free and fair, and these changes will ensure this continues to be the case in the Sunshine State."

"Senate Bill 90 strengthens existing voter ID laws, bans ballot harvesting, prohibits unsolicited mass mailing of ballots, increases election transparency, and prohibits private money from administering elections," according to the statement from the governor's office. 

"While Florida already requires identification to vote," reads the statement, "Senate Bill 90 will require additional identification information when changing any voter registration information, or requesting a vote by mail ballot, preventing fraud and securing the voter rolls."

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

It further says, "The proposal bans the mass mailing of ballots, ensuring that vote-by-mail ballots are only sent to the individuals that requested them, and only if requested for each election cycle they intend to vote by mail. The bill also increases election transparency, allowing each political party and candidate guaranteed access to observe signature matching reviews by the canvassing board, and allows for appointed watchers on their behalf."

Jason Snead, executive director of the Honest Elections Project, said of the new law, “Every Floridian can request a mail-in ballot, vote early, or cast a ballot on Election Day. Anyone who reads this new law will see that it keeps voting easy, and makes cheating harder.”

9Image: Honest Elections Project)
(Image: Honest Elections Project)

The Florida Democratic Party described SB90 as "a blatant voter suppression bill."

Florida Democratic Party Chairman Manny Diaz said, “Governor DeSantis and the Florida Republicans are more interested in holding on to power than ensuring fair access to our democracy. They all praised the quality of the November elections here in Florida and now they are changing the rules. For the Florida Republicans, this bill is not about election integrity, it is about blatant voter suppression, just because they can."

Many left-wing news outlets echoed the line of the Democratic Party. CNN described the new law as a "restrictive voting bill." The Washington Post said, "Florida’s DeSantis signs new voting restrictions into law, making the state the latest to add hurdles to the voting process."  The Hill headlined, "Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signs election restriction bill."

NBC News claimed, "Fla. becomes latest state to enact restrictive voting law as DeSantis signs bill on Fox News."

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