Florida Election Supervisor calls bill ‘unnecessary call for electoral reform’
Florida’s Republican-controlled legislature last week passed a bill that election supervisors say will make voting more difficult.
SB90 passed the Florida Senate with a vote of 23-17 and the House, 77-40. Governor Ron DeSantis is expected to sign it.
Florida President of Election Supervisors Craig Latimer in a statement called the bill “an unnecessary call for electoral reform.”
“The election went smoothly, voters participated in record numbers, and election results were audited in every county in Florida, as our current electoral law provides,” the statement said.
The changes include restrictions on who can cast an elector’s ballot, requiring that the location of a drop box be chosen at least 30 days before an election, and a requirement for election officials to supervise the ballot boxes. deposit in person while they are open.
The measure also limits the number of people who can distribute items such as food, water and election materials to voters queuing up to volunteers or staff working with the election supervisor. Items cannot be delivered to voters within 150 feet of a ballot box.
The bill would also require voters to request postal ballots for every general election.
Latimer, who is also the Hillsborough County Election Supervisor, said lawmakers who both supported and opposed the bill praised the way the Florida election was run last year.
“The governor actually said other states should learn from what we’re doing,” Latimer told WUSF. “But then the legislature decided to start making things a little more difficult.”
After the 2020 general election, Gov. Ron DeSantis declared that we had “finally defeated the ghosts of Bush against Gore”.
Latimer said proposals that would have been the most disenfranchising of their rights, such as canceling mail-in vote requests that voters currently have on their records, were removed from the final version of the bill.
He said lawmakers should look for cost-effective ways to expand the use of mail order boxes, including the use of 24-hour secure drop boxes with camera surveillance. Instead, the new legislation prohibits this.