Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an election integrity bill into law Thursday morning to make it easier to vote and harder to cheat. Unfortunately, the mainstream media is helping to circulate misinformation about the law, known as SB 90. Here is what you need to separate myth from fact.
Myth: Florida is trying to suppress mail-in voting.
Fact: Florida’s reforms simply make the process more uniform by strengthening ID requirements for absentee voting that already apply to in-person voting.
- These reforms would enhance voter ID requirements for mail-in ballot requests.
- Two-thirds (66%) of voters agree that applying voter ID requirements to absentee ballots, as SB 90 does, is a good way to safeguard ballot integrity.
- Research shows that voter ID doesn’t actually negatively impact turnout, despite Democrats’ false claims of voter suppression.
Myth: Florida is trying to make it harder for seniors or disabled voters to have their absentee votes turned in by others.
Fact: Florida’s reforms allow a person to collect immediate family members’ ballots and up to two ballots from unrelated persons.
- This is about restricting ballot trafficking and maintaining a secure chain of custody of ballots, which benefits voters.
- The law expands the list of people authorized to handle vote-by-mail ballots to include a voter’s grandchild.
- Limiting who handles other voters’ ballots ensures that paid political operatives will be prohibited from picking up and potentially mishandling or changing absentee ballots and pressuring or coercing vulnerable voters in their homes.
- Polling shows that 62% of voters are against political operatives and paid organizers having direct access to absentee voters as they vote, and then taking unsupervised possession of their ballots.
Myth: Florida’s reforms put new limits on drop boxes to make it harder for voters.
Fact: The reforms ensure sufficient security to protect voters’ ballots, while maintaining access to drop boxes.
- Staffing drop boxes ensures the safety of ballots dropped off and provides voters with confidence their vote will be counted correctly.
- Under new legislation, drop box locations will be published 30 days in advance so voters have certainty on when and where to access drop boxes.
- Voters are still able to place a stamp on their vote-by-mail ballot and drop it in any secure mailbox.
Myth: Allowing access to the absentee ballot signature verification process will allow partisan operatives to file frivolous challenges.
Fact: Observation by poll watchers for in-person voting has been allowed for decades, and with the growth of mail-in voting, the same protections should be applied.
- It is important that the mail-in voting process maintains the same important safeguards that in-person voting does.
- The bill ensures party affiliation is not disclosed to election workers during the signature match process.
- Transparency instills confidence in the electoral process and reduces the temptation of election workers to commit fraud.
Jessica Anderson is executive director of Heritage Action. She previously served as associate director of intergovernmental affairs and strategic initiatives at the Office of Management and Budget in the Trump administration.
Editor's Note: This piece originally appeared in The Daily Signal.