Ron DeSantis signs new Florida election law, restricts mail-in balloting

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis enacted a new election law Thursday that requires voter ID and bans ballot harvesting and mass mail-in balloting.

The tighter election laws, which were drafted after widespread irregularities and unsubstantiated allegations of ballot fraud in the 2020 presidential election, are the latest flashpoint in a partisan feud over how America votes.

“I have what we think is the strongest election integrity measures in the country,” Mr. DeSantis, a Republican, said when signing the bill during a live interview on Fox News. “We’re making sure we’re enforcing voter ID. … We’re also banning ballot harvesting. We’re not gonna let political operatives go and get satchels of votes to dump them in some drop box.”

The new laws also require that drop boxes for absentee ballots are monitored.

Immediately after the bill was signed into law, Marc Elias, a Democratic attorney, announced a federal lawsuit challenging it as a form of voter suppression.

The filing was brought by the League of Women Voters of Florida, Florida Alliance for Retired Americans, and Black Voters Matters Fund. They alleged the law runs afoul of the constitution.

The lawsuit asks the court to stop the law from being enforced.

“It will deprive lawful Floridians of their most fundamental rights, undermining the integrity of the state’s elections, and once ballots are cast, there will be no meaningful redress for injured voters,” the complaint read.

Florida is one of several states where GOP legislatures are moving to make changes to election laws in the wake of the 2020 election.

Republican lawmakers in Arizona, Michigan, Texas and Georgia have also been making changes, which they say will ensure election integrity.

Critics decry the moves as a form of voter suppression.

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