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Following Florida's Example

Florida’s recent election law is the model for Republican victory moving forward.

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(Jillian Cain Photography/Shutterstock)

The Democratic Party and its media apologists get very worked up about election integrity efforts. That’s because these efforts are good at accomplishing their goal: obstructing electoral fraud and ballot-harvesting initiatives increases the likelihood of Republican victories.

With Republicans sweeping to victory across the state of Florida last week, even turning traditional liberal stronghold Miami-Dade County red, it is worth reviewing some of the key features of the 47-page election integrity bill that Governor Ron Desantis signed into law last May. As one of the bright spots in the 2022 midterms, Florida is the model for Republican electoral victory moving forward: ensuring free and fair elections in which the American people can have confidence. The left knows this, and will fight against such initiatives with all the means at their disposal.

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Florida Senate Bill 90 was passed with the intention of guaranteeing election integrity across the state. The bill strengthened voter identification laws, including requiring additional identification whenever voters change their information or request a vote-by-mail ballot. It also banned the practice of mailing out ballots to entire voter rolls regardless of whether the ballots were requested. Now, precincts are only allowed to send ballots directly to those individuals who specifically request them—with proof that they are who they say they are. 

Compare that with Arizona’s Senate Bill 1485, another election integrity effort proposed by Republicans. That bill merely purged “infrequent” voters from the state’s Permanent Early Voting List, meaning a massive number of ballots are still automatically sent out to voters. Democrats, such as then-Secretary of State and now-Governor-elect Katie Hobbs, refer to this refusal to send out mass mail-in-ballots without closely observing the voter rolls as “restrictive.” 

That should put into perspective the importance of the example set by the Florida election law. Florida bans ballot harvesting, another ludicrous practice. It also prohibits individuals from handling more than two ballots from people outside of their immediate family, with an exception for supervised voting at assisted living facilities and nursing homes. 

Nothing makes elections in the United States look more like those of a third world country than masked individuals showing up at ballot drop boxes in the middle of the night and depositing tens of ballots at a time. That is another essential feature of Florida’s law: banning 24/7 drop boxes. For early voting, drop boxes are only available during standard in-person early voting hours. On Election Day, the only available drop boxes are located at supervisors’ offices—in other words, they must be monitored in-person by an election official during standard voting hours. 

The Florida law requires that all early-voting ballots be counted by 7 p.m. the day before Election Day, and those results must be posted no more than 30 minutes after polls close. It also requires that mail ballots be received by 7 p.m. on Election Day. These features together helped to ensure that all ballots were received within a set time frame, and the election results were known by the end of Election Day, with no last-minute ballot dumps.

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The left-wing investigative journalism organization “Center for Public Integrity” slammed Florida’s attempt to limit “voter access.” According to their reporting, nearly 190,000 voters in Florida would now live a full half mile further from a drop box than they did in 2020. Both the Arizona and Pennsylvania GOPs have proposed bills this past legislative season to ban drop boxes entirely. Unlike in Florida, however, both bills ultimately were not signed into law.

Florida’s election law also allows for transparency in the verification and tallying processes. Each political party and candidate is guaranteed access to observe signature-matching reviews by the canvassing board, and allows them to appoint watchers on their behalf.

Unsurprisingly, the leftist reaction to these reasonable measures has been accusations of racism, bigotry, and even transphobia. Attempts to restore a semblance of trust in American elections are equated with an effort at Jim Crow-era voter suppression. CNN had a conniption about DeSantis’s “restrictive voting bill.” CBS limited its headline to calling the bill “controversial,” but made sure to end the piece with statements by Charlie Crist, the League of Women Voters of Florida, and The Society for Professional Journalists’s Florida chapter. NBC reported that Arizona’s attempt to clean up voter rolls was inspired by Trump’s “stolen election lie.” Mail-in voting, NBC claimed, “was championed by Democrats as a safe way to vote in a pandemic while Trump falsely claimed it was rife with fraud.” There are endless examples of this type of biased, DNC-approved drivel.

The entire American electoral system was fundamentally revolutionized in 2020. The product of that radical rehaul has been a one-sided shift in the favor of the Democratic Party. A mentally impaired stroke victim was elected to the Senate, winning in Pennsylvania’s most populous metropolitan area with a percent advantage reminiscent of a Mugabe presidential election in Zimbabwe. 

The Democratic Party machine has enabled a system of canvassing that allows them to efficiently collect the maximum votes from people who would otherwise not be voting. The reality is that Fetterman very well may have gotten more than 93 percent of the votes in Philadelphia. He may have won the state of Pennsylvania by a higher percentage than Biden. But it is impossible to disconnect those results from the revolutionary changes that were made to the electoral process beginning in 2020. 

You can’t walk down the streets in most U.S. major cities past 10 p.m. Sidewalks are covered in used needles and the fecal matter of homeless people, a tank of gas costs half a day’s salary, and milk is $6 a gallon. The president is a senile octogenarian. Somehow, the Republicans still managed to have one of the worst-ever midterm performances as an out-of-power party. Following Florida’s example for conducting free and fair elections is the only shot we have left at salvaging the constitutional system envisioned by the Founders.

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