The Florida legislature passed a bill Thursday that changes vote by mail procedures and adds restrictions on the use of drop boxes.
Senate Bill 90, passed by both chambers of the legislature, requires Floridians voting by mail to affirmatively request absentee ballots for each election and only permits dropbox use “during the county’s early voting hours of operation.”
“What we’re trying to do is make sure that we preserve our sacred duty and right of having every vote count,” Republican State Senator Joe Gruters said on the chamber floor.
The measure has come with criticism from Florida Democrats, who argue that the bill will suppress the vote in future elections, and is premised on the falsehood that the 2020 Presidential election was compromised by widespread voter fraud. “As the Senate debates onerous restrictions and requirements on the vote-by-mail process, and limitations on dropbox access, we have to ask why? Not a single case of voter fraud can be provided as justification,” Democratic State Senator Lori Berman remarked.
The bill also includes a provision that criminalizes possessing more than two vote by mail ballots. The second ballot submitted, in addition to one’s personal ballot, must be that of an immediate family member. Proponents assert that the restriction is necessary to prevent ballot harvesting.
Governor Ron DeSantis is expected to sign the measure into law.