April 26, 2021
Florida Senate approved its election reform bill Monday.
An earlier version of the bill would have completely prohibited the use of drop boxes. But the somewhat more watered-down version passed by the Senate today would still allow the use of drop boxes in limited circumstances.
Under the amended Senate bill, drop boxes would be required to be monitored in-person by an elections official, and voting by dropbox would only be permitted during early voting hours.
The bill would also tighten several other aspects of voting. Those who wanted to vote by mail would have to request a mail ballot every election cycle, rather than every two, as under current law. And no one but an election worker could distribute items, including food and beverages, within 150 feet of polls or drop boxes.
The legislation would also require voters to provide a Florida driver’s license number, state identification number, or the last four digits of a Social Security number when requesting a mail-in ballot or changing party affiliation.
Whether the Florida House will take up the Senate’s bill remains up in the air.
House sponsor Blaise Ingoglia indicated changes may be coming.
“There are some concerns I have with some of the language, some of the things that are in there, some of the things that are not in there,” said Ingoglia.
Nevertheless, tighter rules on voting are a major legislative priority of Governor DeSantis, a close ally of former President Donald Trump.