TALLAHASSEE, FL - Last Friday, Gov. DeSantis proposed a slate of restrictive voting laws that would make it more difficult for Floridians to vote. His proposal calls for limiting the use of ballot drop boxes, tightening signature match law, requiring voters to request mail ballots more frequently than already required by law, prohibiting ballot collection, and establishing that unsolicited ballots won't be mailed to eligible Florida voters.
The proposal comes after an election season where more than three million Floridians voted by mail, which is the highest turnout rate seen in the state for decades. And, after Gov. DeSantis applauded the efficiency in Florida elections last year.
Micah Kubic, executive director, ACLU of Florida responded:
“Considering the governor’s abysmal track record with voting rights, it should be no surprise that he continues to propose restrictive laws that will make it even more difficult for Floridians to participate in their democracy.
“The fact is Floridians have demonstrated their commitment to exercising their right to vote and specifically casting their ballot by mail. To date, there have been no findings of any mass discrepancies that suggest more restrictive laws in our state are necessary. Instead, the governor should set his sights on the thousands of vote-by-mail ballots that are often rejected simply because people failed to sign their absentee ballot the exact same way they did often decades ago when they first got an identification card from the Department of Motor Vehicles. Or on the disparities that exist in vote-by-mail ballot rejections, which our 2020 study found. Every eligible Floridian should have their vote counted and it should not be dependent on their age, race, ethnicity, or zip code.
“Voting is the cornerstone of our democracy and Florida policymakers should seek to dismantle barriers in our voting system, not create more obstacles for Floridians in order to exercise their right to vote. If Gov. DeSantis spent as much time trying to actually protect the vote as he does trying to silence those who disagree with him, Floridians could have an election system that would truly make us proud.”