The Florida Legislature passed an election law on Thursday that included new ID requirements and limits on mail-in voting and ballot drop boxes.
The legislation, which Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis is expected to sign into law, passed the state Senate on a 23-17 vote and the state House on a 77-40 vote, according to the Miami Herald.
“I’m trying to protect the sanctity of our elections,” Republican state Sen. Travis Hutson said.
The bill, which passed on party lines, was strongly opposed by voting rights groups and Democrats who argued the legislation will make it harder for Floridians to vote.
“[This is] just another brazen effort to transfer power from local voters to the leadership here in Tallahassee,” Democratic state Sen. Shevrin Jones said.
Republican state lawmakers relented on a number of more stringent measures originally included in the bill, according to the Herald. It doesn’t ban drop boxes or require voters to show ID when placing their ballot in a drop box, nor does it mandate stricter signature verification.
Instead, the legislation prohibits voters from having more than one mail-in ballot and restricts the use of drop boxes to an early voting period under the supervision of an election official, the Herald reported.
Campaign representatives will be banned from interacting with or soliciting voters within 150 feet of drop boxes.
The bill further requires voters to provide ID when requesting a mail-in ballot.
“We need to restore public trust in our elections,” Jenny Beth Martin, honorary chairman of the conservative Tea Party Patriots Action, said in a Friday statement. “We thank the Florida legislators who voted for this bill, and we look forward to having Governor DeSantis sign it into law.”
The legislation is the latest effort by Republican state lawmakers to ensure election integrity following claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election.
Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed an election integrity bill into law in March.
The Georgia bill was roundly attacked by Democrats, who likened it to Jim Crow-era laws. Major corporations condemned the bill as well, with MLB even moving its All-Star Game out of Atlanta in response to its passage.
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