By: Alyssa Wilson
Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida signed an elections bill into law Thursday that restricts voting access.
Florida took action this legislative session to increase transparency and strengthen the security of our elections. I’d like to thank the leaders on this issue – @WiltonSimpson, @ChrisSprowls, @dennisbaxley, and @GovGoneWild pic.twitter.com/ZCdrPm2rsZ
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) May 6, 2021
Republicans say it will protect against fraud, echoing false claims from former President Donald Trump that President Joe Biden’s victory was due to a stolen election. Democrats say the legislation will make it harder for some to vote.
DeSantis, who is expected to announce his run for reelection, staged the signing on a live broadcast of Fox & Friends, ABC 7 reported. Other media organizations were not allowed to view the signing.
NEW: News media is barred from entry at Gov. Ron DeSantis’ signing of controversial elections bill, SB 90. DeSantis spokeswoman Taryn Fenske says bill signing is a “Fox exclusive” pic.twitter.com/NAos6kmtQS
— Steve Bousquet (@stevebousquet) May 6, 2021
Statement from Fox News on DeSantis’ bill signing: “Fox & Friends did not request or mandate that the May 6th event and/or interview with Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) be exclusive to Fox News Media entities.” Spox for governor has not responded yet.
— Ted Johnson (@tedstew) May 6, 2021
Some of the changes to Florida’s election rules are similar to Georgia’s SB 202, which has come under harsh criticism by Democrats and voter rights groups.
The new law, titled S.B. 90, states:
- Restricts when ballot drop boxes can be used and who can collect ballots
- Only allows someone to collect and return a ballot of a member of their immediate family
- Orders dropboxes to be supervised and only be available when elections offices and early voting sights are open
- Requires that a voter making changes to registration data provide an identification number
- Limits who can hand out food, water or election-related material to voters waiting in line
- Prohibits anyone not designated as election staff from providing assistance to voters in the area
This is a developing story that will be updated.