Florida Governor Ron DeSantis unveiled a multi-part election integrity proposal on Friday to reinforce and secure the voting process for his state’s future elections.
Following the 2020 General Election, many Americans harbor heightened fears that our election system is ripe for fraud and abuse. A December poll from Quinnipiac found that 77% of Republican voters believe widespread fraud occurred during the last election.
Gov. DeSantis’ proposal is aimed at ameliorating those fears heading forward.
As summarized by Daniel Horowitz of The Blaze, the proposed legislation would:
- Prohibit counties from receiving private grants from third-party organizations for “get out the vote” efforts.
- Ban the practice of ballot harvesting, prohibiting individuals from possessing ballots other than their own and those from their immediate family.
- Prohibit mass mailings of vote-by-mail ballots, requiring individuals to specifically request a mail-in-ballot to receive one.
- Require vote-by-mail ballots to be requested during the election year.
- Require the signatures on mail-in-ballots to match the voter’s most recent signature on file.
- Mandate that political party observers and candidates be allowed access to monitor the signature matching process.
- Require real-time reporting of voter turnout data for each precinct.
- Require Supervisors of Elections to report the number of ballots requested, the number of ballots returned and how many have yet to be counted.
In announcing the proposal, Gov. DeSantis touted Florida’s handling of the 2020 General Election held during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, a lot of states used that as a pretext to be able to do hastily new forms of voting. We didn’t do that in Florida. We had a system; we had confidence in the system; we knew it was safe, and we did it. We were not going to be sending out unsolicited mass mail ballots because, as we’ve seen, there’s problems with that,” Gov. DeSantis said.
“And when people tried to sue us, we told them, ‘Pound sand. We’re not going to change what we’re doing,’” he added to applause.
The governor also noted that Florida, despite being the third largest state in the nation, reported nearly all of its results within hours on election night. The state’s 2020 election was far cry from Florida’s fiercely litigated election of 2000.
“Other states took days, weeks, and even months to count their votes, and yet Florida, by midnight on Election Night, we had 99% reporting and 11 million votes counted, tabulated, and put out to the public,” Gov. DeSantis said. “It can be done, and don’t let anybody tell you it can’t be done.”
“Floridians of all stripes can rest assured that in this state your vote counts. Your vote matters… It’s gonna be transparent; it’s gonna be above board. It’s gonna be a confidence-inspiring process. And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.”
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