SB 90, passed by the Florida Senate, is one of 361 restrictive voting bills introduced in state legislatures across the country in service to "the big lie" that election fraud is responsible for Donald Trump's failure to retain the White House.

Controversial GOP voting bill passes Florida Senate; heads to House

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By
Norine Dworkin

Monday, April 26, 2021

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SB 90, passed by the Florida Senate, is one of 361 restrictive voting bills introduced in state legislatures across the country in service to "the big lie" that election fraud is responsible for Donald Trump's failure to retain the White House.

In a highly anticipated move, the Republican-controlled Florida Senate passed its voting restrictions bill, SB 90 , 23-17 on Monday. Lawmakers predominantly voted along party lines with the exception of Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg), who joined Democrats in opposing the measure.


The bill goes to the Florida House where representatives have their own version, HB 7041.


SB 90 introduces hurdles in the vote-by-mail process by adding more ID requirements for voters to both request mail-in ballots and then drop them off at a drop box. Voters would also have to request mail-in ballots for each election cycle rather than every four years.


The bill also limits accessibility to drop boxes, which would only be available during early voting and require full-time staff to monitor them. During the November election, drop boxes were available 24/7. Plus, the bill mandates that only  “immediate family” members would be permitted to drop off ballots for another voter — after filling out paperwork attesting to the relationship.


SB 90 also makes it a crime to distribute food or water to voters waiting on line.


Sponsored by Sen. Dennis Baxley (R-Ocala), SB 90 is one of hundreds of Republican-driven bills restricting voting access that were introduced in state legislatures across the country in reaction to "the big lie" that Donald Trump lost the 2020 election because of voter fraud. Vastly more Democrats than Republicans voted with a mail-in ballot in the November election. 


“Measures like Florida’s SB 90 is textbook voter restriction and constitutes a crude and unethical maneuver toward carving out an electorate chosen by the elected,” said Sen. Randolph Bracy (D-Ocoee) in an emailed statement.

“This restriction undermines democracy and favors only one party, not the public,” he added. “It relies on unfounded arguments about voter fraud while restricting access to populations that historically lean Democratic — and perhaps more egregiously, those that have endured a protracted and grim history of voter suppression.”



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