Florida became the latest Republican-controlled state to make it harder to vote when Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation Thursday creating new voting rules that make it more difficult to vote by mail and curtails the use of drop boxes to collect votes. The law also adds new absentee ID requirements and will force absentee voters—which amounted to 40 percent of the total 2020 turnout—to request a ballot each election, or every two years, rather than receiving them automatically as was the case in the past. DeSantis signed the bill Thursday morning in a ceremony that was broadcast live by Fox News before the Florida governor sat for a gushing interview live on the Fox News morning show Fox & Friends. No other media was allowed to attend the event, giving a pretty clear indication of who this bill was meant for—a national Fox News audience, not the people of the state of Florida.
“[Black lawmakers] said the bill would make voting particularly difficult for minorities, who more often struggle with transportation and work nonstandard hours in the service sector in Florida’s tourism-dependent economy, relying more heavily on after-hours drop boxes,” the Washington Post reports. “Although much of the criticism of Senate Bill 90 comes from voting rights advocates who say it will disproportionately affect communities of color, some Republicans worry that it will make it more difficult for their voters to cast ballots, too—particularly the millions of Floridians who have voted by mail for many years.”
Florida’s voter restriction law is the latest such measure to come out of a GOP-controlled state government in the name of election integrity. Florida Republicans, ironically, have repeatedly expressed how pleased they were with the administration of the 2020 election, a race Trump won by three points. Now that being a Republican means buying into the Trump election fraud fiction, DeSantis and his fellow Florida Republicans scrambled to change their voting rules anyway. The new rules, which make it more onerous to vote, will provide “guardrails,” they say, to prevent “gaming the system” in the future.