Despite a smooth 2020 election, Florida GOP will look to restrict vote-by-mail this week

“This is clearly going to reduce vote-by-mail in Democratic counties. … And so, I can’t support this."

Despite a smooth 2020 election, Florida GOP will look to restrict vote-by-mail this week
PHOTO VIA ADOBE

Florida, by most accounts, ran a successful 2020 election.

Unlike other states where ballot wars continued for weeks, Florida voters went to bed on Election Night knowing who won all but the closest races.

But amid Republican efforts across the country to revamp vote-by-mail systems, Gov. Ron DeSantis and other Florida GOP leaders are calling for a series of changes to the elections process during this year’s legislative session.

Part of that will play out Wednesday when the Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee will take up a bill (SB 90) that would require voters to more frequently request vote-by-mail ballots.

Bill sponsor Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, has said the change would help improve the security of the vote-by-mail process, citing concerns about issues such as people moving frequently and ballots going to their old addresses.

“This bill gives vote-by-mail security and choice,” Baxley said during a Senate Ethics and Elections Committee meeting last month. “This is a good bill. … I feel sure that you’ll be pleased in the long run, despite your fears and concerns. It’ll work better.” 

But Democrats contend the bill would hurt voting by mail, which Democrats used heavily in the 2020 elections. 

“This is clearly going to reduce vote-by-mail in Democratic counties. … And so, I can’t support this. I’m sorry that I even have to take it there, but it’s disheartening to look at this for what I see it is,” Sen. Randolph Bracy, D-Orlando, said during the meeting last month.

Support local journalism in these crazy days. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you up to the minute news on how Coronavirus is affecting Tampa and surrounding areas. Please consider making a one time or monthly donation to help support our staff. Every little bit helps.

Follow @cl_tampabay on Twitter to get the most up-to-date news + views. Subscribe to our newsletter, too.

Scroll to read more Florida News articles
Join the Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.

Newsletters

Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected]