Florida House Passes Anti-Voter Bill

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Today, the Florida House passed an amended version of SB 90. The bill now returns to the Senate for a vote on whether to approve the new version. The proposed changes are not supported by Florida Supervisors of Elections.

 

Statement of Sylvia Albert, Common Cause Director of Voting and Elections

Most of us agree that our government ‘of the people’ is stronger when more people participate in it.

Our government ‘by the people’ works better when every voter’s voice can be heard when we cast and have our ballots counted.

And our government must be ‘for the people’ – not to benefit special interests, not to protect incumbents, and not to consolidate political power.

According to Gov. DeSantis, last fall “Florida held the smoothest, most successful election of any state in the country.”

But now, Florida’s Republican legislative leaders seem determined to weaken the system that voters have relied on, without significant problems, for the better part of a generation – a system that was originally created by Republicans.

SB 90 will limit voters’ options when they make a choice in the three methods to cast a ballot. It will create hurdles to every step of voting by mail.  It will reduce voters’ access to ballot drop boxes. It will add to elections officials’ workload and add to the need for voter education. It will make it more difficult for the nonpartisan Election Protection volunteer program to assist voters in understanding their rights in the voting process.

Nothing about this bill is ‘for the people.’ It will only make it harder for ‘the people’ to have our voices heard and our ballots counted. 

Hundreds of Common Cause Florida members have contacted their elected officials to oppose these changes in voting access.

But SB 90 is moving fast, being pushed through the legislative process during a session that has been notable for its lack of transparency and difficulty of public participation.

The speed at which this bill is moving – under single-party legislative leadership and at the request of Gov. DeSantis – indicates that it is probably a ‘done deal.’ 

But ‘the people’ of Florida have been shut out of the process – as well as harmed by the end result.

And that will be a shameful legacy for every elected official who played a part in pushing this bill through.