Ron DeSantis Overrules Nancy Pelosi, Signs New Voting Bill Despite Dems Objections

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis just put Nancy Pelosi on notice and signed a new voting bill into law Thursday morning. The Democrats are furious and Pelosi wants to counter moves by red states with her own federal voting bill. But Joe Manchin said no to that ending the debate.

‘We have multiple grounds to challenge this, especially attacks on vote-by-mail,’ said Jorge Vasquez, an attorney for the Advancement Project’s Power and Democracy Program. ‘We’ll act swiftly.’

The Republican governor signed the freshly passed legislation by giving Fox News an exclusive. The signing on a live broadcast of Fox & Friends Thursday morning while other media organizations were shut out of the event.

From The Independent:

The GOP-controlled Florida Legislature passed the law without a single Democratic vote, even as Florida Republicans have hailed their state as a model for conducting elections. This disconnect has confounded Democrats, voter rights groups and statewide elections officials who see no need for the changes.

But Republicans countered that the new law is a preemptive move against those who would undermine the sanctity of the ballot box, even if they could not cite specific instances of widespread fraud. Republicans argue that the new rules do nothing to keep people from voting.

The newly signed law restricts when ballot drop boxes can be used and who can collect ballots — and how many. To protect against so called “ballot harvesting,” an electoral Good Samaritan can only collect and return the ballots of immediate family and no more than two from unrelated people. Under the new rules, drop boxes must be supervised and would only be available when elections offices and early voting sites are open.

It requires that a voter making changes to registration data provide an identifying number, possibly a driver’s license number or a partial Social Security Number.

The governor’s signature extends a no-influence zone to 150 feet (50 meters) around polling places. And elections officials would have to let candidates and other observers witness some key election night moments in the ballot-handling process. Any violations could prompt hefty fines.

DeSantis had pushed Republican lawmakers to deliver the sweeping rewrites of rules on voting by mail and drop boxes, and to impose new layers of ID requirements for routine changes to a voter’s registration record.

However, the proposals signed into law did not include some of the more severe provisions initially put forward by some Republicans, including the outright banning of drop boxes and preventing the use of the U.S. Postal Service for returning completed ballots.

Spurred by concerns that the pandemic would keep voters from voting on Election Day last year, the Democratic Party urged people to vote early and through the mail.

The Republican governor signed the freshly passed legislation by giving Fox News an exclusive. The signing on a live broadcast of Fox & Friends Thursday morning while other media organizations were shut out of the event.