FLORIDA– Today, despite historic participation by Florida voters in the 2020 Election, Governor Ron DeSantis suggested that he now wants to implement sweeping reforms to our vote by mail system to disingenuously protect the “integrity of our elections” here in Florida. These remarks come on the heels of a Republican bill that was addressed this week in committee in the State Senate, which aims to purge former vote-by-mail requests and functionally make it harder for people to vote by mail — an anti-democracy bill which DeSantis promised to sign during today’s press conference.
“Why do Florida Republicans want to limit vote by mail access? Well it all comes down to who has access to the franchise.” said Florida Democratic Party Executive Director Marcus Dixon. “So even though the vote by mail system worked well here in Florida this past election, any time too many people have easy access to the ballot box, Republicans feel like they need to change the rules.”
Florida Democratic Party Chair Manny Diaz added, “These remarks by Governor DeSantis and his fellow Republicans make clear that they are more interested in holding on to power at all costs than ensuring fair access to our democracy. They want to limit vote-by-mail because they know that more people voting threatens their power, so they are turning back to the Trump Republican authoritarian playbook: voter suppression and incendiary rhetoric about election integrity.
“This is not an issue of Republicans versus Democrats, but instead an issue of Republicans versus democracy. Florida Republicans keep showing us that when given a choice between defending the rights of voters, or suppressing voter access, disturbingly they will all too gladly suppress, harm and sacrifice our most sacred Constitutional right, on the altar of preserving power for the sake of power.”
Miami Herald: Voting by mail in Florida was a success, so why do legislators want to make it harder?Mary Ellen Klas | February 17th 2021
- Bypassing the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” question, Florida Senate Republicans agreed Tuesday that Florida’s vote-by-mail process worked smoothly in the last election cycle but still needed a change. They want to erase all standing requests for mail-in ballots in 2022 and require voters to start over.
- Democrats called the bill a voter suppression tactic, intended to tamp down the record vote-by-mail support of Democrats in 2020, especially in the state’s largest metro areas. In 2020, there were 2.1 million Democrats who voted by mail, compared to 1.5 million Republicans and 1 million voters who were not affiliated with any party.
- Orlando Democrat, Senator Randolph Bracy said. “I mean it looks like there’s an effort to try to get a strategic advantage. Knowing that Democrats overwhelmingly vote by mail, the motivation of the measure is partisan.”
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