It enacts restrictions on voting by mail and at drop boxes, which Democrats and activists warn could suppress voter turnout.
DeSantis' signature enacts a host of changes into Florida's election laws, including limits on where drop boxes could be placed, restrictions on who can drop off a voter's ballot, a mandate that drop boxes be staffed while open, new powers for partisan poll watchers as well as a requirement that voters must request to vote-by-mail more frequently.
The new laws go into effect immediately, in time for local elections, the forthcoming special House election to replace the late Rep.
Democrats have also taken aim at the broader changes, joining with voting-rights groups to cast the changes as political retribution after Democrats posted strong vote-by-mail turnout in the 2020 election, and arguing the restrictions will have an outsized effect on minority voters.
The bill "seeks to silence voters’ voices based on what they look like or where they come from," voting- and civil-rights activists from more than 20 local and national groups — including the NAACP and the Florida chapters of the ACLU and All Voting is Local — wrote in a letter to DeSantis sent before he signed the bill.
Many voters sought out drop boxes instead of voting through the mail last election, particularly amid concerns about the efficiency of mail service during the pandemic
Now that the law is on the books, Florida is the latest Republican-led state to pass new voting restrictions months after former President Donald Trump began making unfounded claims the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him