Florida Republicans are up to their anti-voter rights bullshit again and they aren’t pretending to hide their disdain for democracy. They have been fine-tuning their bill SB 90, which will make voting in the state much more difficult and passed it in the House on a party-line vote of 77-40 Wednesday.
It now goes to the Senate, where they will likely make the bill even more repressive.
Here are a few ways in which the Florida GOP are trying to block people from accessing the ballot box, per CNN:
- Adding new identification and signature requirements for voting by mail.
- Expanding the “no solicitation zone” where items that could be perceived as influencing cannot be given to voters to 150 feet around a polling place or drop box site.
- Limiting who can return a completed mail-in ballot.
- Prohibiting private donations to be used for elections.
- Preventing election officials from entering into consent agreements.
- Requiring voters to submit requests for mail-in ballots annually.
- Creating several restrictions for drop box use.
There is little time for the GOP to legally make voting a cumbersome task. The legislative session ends Friday. Once the Senate approves the bill, Gov. Ron DeSantis will have to sign it. DeSantis likely will put his signature on the document unless he decides that the bill is not repressive enough.
Florida Democrats have called the bill “voter suppression” and “the revival of Jim Crow in this state.”
“We’re actively trying to suppress people’s right to vote,” Democratic state Rep. Michele Rayner said on the floor Wednesday. “Instead of literacy tests and poll taxes, we are attempting to require voters to renew their standard request for a vote-by-mail ballot every calendar year.”
“The bottom line is this: If you think you need to engage in voter suppression tactics to win re-elections and elections, you shouldn’t be in this building making laws,” said Rayner.
Activists chimed in, too.
“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,” Sylvia Albert of Common Cause said in a statement released following the House vote.
“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,” she added.
Keep in mind that Florida Republicans hate democracy so much that they reversed the will of the people who voted in a 2018 referendum that people with felony convictions should be allowed to vote.
This is part of a larger GOP effort across the country to make voting harder for people of color, after Donald Trump lost several GOP-learning states—including Georgia—to Joe Biden.
This, y’all, is how democracy looks and is supposed to function in the GOP.