While signing the state's new voting law during a television appearance early Thursday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis hailed the legislation's focus on election security, saying the legislation adds the "strongest election integrity measures in the country."
"We're making sure we're enforcing voter ID," DeSantis commented during his Fox News appearance from West Palm Beach, where he signed the legislation in front of cheering supporters. "We're also banning ballot harvesting. We're not going to let political operatives go and get satchels of votes to dump them in some dropbox."
Florida's Senate Bill 90 also prohibits "mass mailing of balloting," the governor said. "We've had absentee voting in Florida for a long time. You request the ballot, you get it, and you mail it in. But to just indiscriminately send them out is not a recipe for success."
Florida's law requires votes to be tracked as they come in, in real-time, and the new legislation's provisions will strengthen that, DeSantis said.
"Not the results, but we know who's voting, what your registration is," he said. "We follow the turnout so that when the election's over, we know the universe of votes that have been cast, and it makes it so someone can't dump 100,000 votes 2 or 3 days later."
He added, in the past election, the state had 11 million votes, or 99%, counted by midnight, so the new law will "make it even better as we go forward."
"We're proud of the strides that we've made," he said. "We're not resting on our laurels, and signing this bill says 'Florida, your vote counts. Your vote is going to be cast with integrity and transparency.'"
DeSantis, meanwhile, said he is "not a fan" of drop boxes, but the legislature wanted to keep them while tightening how they are used and where they are located.
According to the new legislation, drop boxes must be geographically located to provide all voters in the county with an equal opportunity to cast a ballot and be monitored in person.
"The drop boxes will be available only when they're monitored and during regular voting hours," the governor said Thursday. "You can't just leave these boxes out where there is no supervision at all hours of the night."
Florida is now the latest GOP-leaning state to enact voting changes after the 2020 presidential election and is being seen as taking on several issues at once like the election law Georgia passed earlier this year.
The new law also prohibits the use of private funds for election-related expenses, such as what happened last year when funding was provided to some cities and states to help with their elections. Republicans complained the funding favored Democrats as the money was targeted more toward blue states.
Florida's state House and Senate passed the bill in late April, with the measure being approved by 23-17 in the state Senate and by a vote of 77-40 in the House.
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