Florida is also making voting more difficult with new legislation

The law, signed by Ron DeSantes (left), follows claims by Donald Trump (right) about a “stolen election.”
Photo: Reuters

On Thursday, the Republican governor of Florida signed an electoral law that creates new barriers to voting. Recently, neighboring Georgia, also led by Republicans, decided to introduce a new electoral law that makes casting votes more difficult, especially for some population groups, according to opponents.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the law into law Thursday in Palm Beach, where former President Donald Trump now lives. DeSantis caused panic among the American media by excluding all TV channels except for the right-wing Fox News from signing.

The Florida House and Senate last week approved the new election law for the southeastern state. Among other things, there will be stricter rules on mail voting, which Trump alleges is encouraging widespread electoral fraud and costing the election. Florida voters should now apply for a postal ballot, which, according to experts, mainly benefits Republicans. DeSantis said Thursday that the new law will prevent mass polls from being sent by mail.

Florida is one of several US states enacting election law reforms after the highly polarized elections late last year. According to critics, these reforms aim to exclude voter groups, especially minorities, who, among other things, are less likely to have jobs that give them flexibility to vote during the specified hours. Lower turnout usually benefits Republicans, and more votes cast usually help Democrats. In Georgia, the new election law sparked massive protests. President Biden and several large corporations, among others, did not have a good word for reforms in that state, which came as a surprise to Democrats in the recent presidential and Senate elections.

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Linda Stewart, a Democratic member of the Senate in Florida, accused Republicans of engaging in party politics with the new election law. Several organizations have filed lawsuits to annul the new election law. Patricia Brigham, of the Florida Women’s Women’s Association, says the new electoral law will be bad for seniors, people with disabilities, students and ethnic minorities. “The legislation is undemocratic, unconstitutional, and un-American,” Brigham said.

Denton Watson

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