Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law an election integrity bill Thursday that places restrictions on ballot drop-boxes and mail-in ballots.
Upon signing the bill, DeSantis said it would place Florida at the top of the list in preventing voter fraud and ensuring fair elections.
“Right now, I have what we think is the strongest election integrity measures in the country,” he said. “We’re also banning ballot harvesting. We’re not going to let political operatives go and get satchels of votes and dump them in some drop box.”
The bill will require signature verification for voters, use a “wet signature” physically signed on paper kept on file, revise distance limits for people at polling places, require monitors at ballot drop boxes and include more identification requirements when dropping off ballots, the Epoch Times reports.
It would also place limits on who can return a completed mail-in ballot, prevent election officials from entering consent agreements, and require voters to submit yearly requests for mail-in ballots.
“Drop boxes must be geographically located so as to provide all voters in the county with an equal opportunity to cast a ballot,” the bill states.
Additionally, the “prohibition on the use of private funds for election-related expenses” comes in response to Big Tech giants like Facebook dishing out funding to help run elections last year.
“Me signing this bill here says, ‘Florida, your vote counts. Your vote is going to cast with integrity and transparency, and this is a great place for democracy,’” DeSantis said.
Democrats have blasted the law as an attempt to strip voters’ access to the polls so that Republicans can regain an advantage.
“The legislation has a deliberate and disproportionate impact on elderly voters, voters with disabilities, students and communities of color. It’s a despicable attempt by a one party ruled legislature to choose who can vote in our state and who cannot. It’s undemocratic, unconstitutional, and un-American,” said Patricia Brigham, president of the League of Women Voters of Florida, as reported by AP News.