Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed onto landmark legislation to secure the state’s elections ahead of the 2022 midterms.
“Today, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law Senate Bill 90, Florida’s new election integrity bill, strengthening voter identification, prohibiting the mass mailing of ballots, banning ballot harvesting and prohibiting private money from administering elections in our state,” the Election Wizard website reported.
“Florida took action this legislative session to increase transparency and strengthen the security of our elections,” Governor Ron DeSantis said. “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. I’d like to thank our legislative leaders on this issue – Senate President Wilton Simpson, House Speaker Chris Sprowls, Senator Dennis Baxley, and Representative Blaise Ingoglia.”
“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,” the Election Wizard’s report added. “While Florida already requires identification to vote, 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.”
“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 report continued. “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.”
A number of Florida legislators touted the reforms in the election integrity bill.
“Florida leads the nation in election reforms because the Florida Legislature and Governor have taken a proactive approach to review and address any election issues,” added Senate President Wilton Simpson. “Safeguarding and maintaining the integrity of our elections is important to all of us. We all lose when people have no confidence in the integrity of an election. That’s what we want to avoid. We don’t want to backslide. Florida was a model for the nation in November, and that is something we can all take pride in. With this legislation, we are codifying provisions of the Governor’s executive order that were largely credited as a reason Florida’s 2020 general election went so smoothly, and why results were available much quicker in Florida than in many other states. I appreciate the Governor’s leadership on this important issue.”
“Floridians have more options to cast their ballot than ever before. With that variety must come assurance of security, accountability, and transparency,” House Speaker Chris Sprowls also said. “The bill Governor DeSantis signed today will protect our election procedures and provide voters with confidence that our elections will remain accessible, efficient, and secure. The right to vote should never be taken for granted, and we must always strive to improve the processes that establish the foundation of our democracy.”
“Florida’s leaders have answered the call to ensure that our elections process remains secure and credible,” Senator Dennis Baxley remarked. When it comes to the integrity of our free and fair elections, our state did not wait until something went wrong. Instead we were proactive in our responsibility to ensure that Florida voters are confident that their vote is being counted. Thank you, Governor DeSantis, for your leadership and for helping us make Florida a place where it is easy to vote and very hard to cheat.”
“This legislative session, we set out to improve and strengthen the integrity of elections,” Representative Blaise Ingoglia also said. “We set out to ensure safe, secure and trusted measures for voting, and we prevailed. I thank Governor DeSantis for his vote of confidence to carry such landmark legislation that will restore confidence in the most sacred right we have as Americans.”
It will be interesting to see how the Democratic Party and the corporate interests that back it react to Florida’s legislation. After similar bills were passed in Georgia and Texas, a block of companies expressed their vocal opposition to such election integrity measures.
Florida is yet another big state to add its clout to the states’ election integrity coalition. As Ben Franklin said at the Declaration of Independence signing, “We must all hang together, or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.”
OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.