Speaking at a news conference in West Palm Beach on Friday, Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis unveiled a series of voting proposals aimed at restricting access to ballot drop boxes as part of a Republican campaign designed to suppress mail-in ballots ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.
DeSantis urged lawmakers to pass his proposals as he continued to peddle false claims about election security, arguing that the legislation will increase residents’ confidence in Florida elections, strengthen election security, and transparency in the election process. However, as noted by CNN, there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election.
While the details were thin about the proposed legislation, CNN reported that “one of the measures would ban vote-by-mail ballots from being sent out to all residents, making it so only voters who request a ballot would receive one. Under the proposal, voters would need to request an absentee ballot each election year.” Another proposed measure would “address the use of ballot boxes,” which DeSantis called “a big problem” and argued that residents should either mail their absentee ballot or drop it off at an election office.
Other GOP lawmakers across the country have been pushing legislation to reform election procedure and limiting voter access. According to the news network, “at least 28 states have introduced, pre-filed or are advancing 106 restrictive bills for the 2021 legislative session.” The move comes in the wake of Donald Trump’s defeat in the 2020 election.
The Brennan Center’s voting rights and elections counsel Eliza Sweren-Becker told CNN that state lawmakers are using the “lies about voter fraud to justify policy proposals that will limit ballot access.”
“DeSantis’ proposals are unfortunately consistent with a rash of policies that have been offered to restrict voter access,” Sweren-Becker said, adding that some of the governor’s proposals appear to be based on the “faulty premise” and disproven lies about the 2020 election and voter fraud.