The governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis on Thursday signed his signature on a law that changes the rules for voting by mail and, according to his critics, is aimed at “suppressing voters” rather than ensuring “electoral integrity.”

SB-90 makes “Floridians rest assured that our state will continue to be a leader in ballot integrity,” DeSantis stressed during the signing ceremony.

Passed at the end of April by the Florida Congress, which is dominated by the Republican Party, the law was passed in a ceremony held at a hotel in Palm Beach (southeast of the state), without access to the media, except for the channel Globe Live Media, as reported by networks such as NBC.

Both the Democratic Party and civil organizations denounced since the project was presented in the state Congress that this law can reduce the electoral participation of minorities, the elderly and those with disabilities by making it more difficult for them to vote by mail.

Several organizations, such as the Florida League of Women Voters, the Black Voters Matters Fund and the Florida Retired Citizens Alliance, announced that they will file a lawsuit to prevent the law from being applied on the grounds that it violates constitutional rights of Floridians.

A fundamental fact

Floridian Democrats ask to read the law in light of statistics from the 2020 elections, which reached a record 4.8 million Floridians who voted by mail.

Of those, 2.1 million were registered as Democrats, 1.5 million as Republicans, and one million as independents.

“Governor DeSantis and Florida Republicans are more interested in holding onto power than in ensuring fair access to our democracy,” Manny Diaz, chairman of the Florida Democratic Party, said Thursday in a statement.

With the new law, those who want to vote by mail will have to request the ballot every election cycle and not every two as is currently done.

SB-90 also restricts the use of ballot boxes to cast votes during early voting days, which until now were available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

There will also be a signature verification, which means that voters must have their signature on file with the electoral authorities.

According to a statement from the Florida Governorate, “the new law strengthens voter identification, prohibits the mass mailing of ballots, prohibits the collection of ballots and prohibits private money from managing elections in our state.”

DeSantis said today that with this law Florida leads the states where the possibility of fraud is minimal. “I think they are the strongest electoral integrity measures in the country,” he said.

Critics of the Republican governor, who, according to former President Donald Trump could be his running mate if he competes in the 2024 elections, have asked him about the need for this law if, as he himself said, in Florida the presidential elections in 2020 were the “most transparent and efficient in the country”.

Trump, who has resided in Florida since leaving the White House on January 20 and continues to insist that he was the victim of electoral fraud, was the most voted candidate in this state, ahead of today’s president, Democrat Joe Biden.

In Georgia, a law along the same lines as SB-90 was passed in March, and in Texas, another state under Republican control, an attempt to follow the same steps is underway.

Florida’s Democratic Representative in Congress Charlie Christ, who has announced that he will run for governor with DeSantis in 2022, called the new law “pathetic.”

Both Wilton Simpson, president of the Florida Senate, and the state speaker of the House of Representatives, Chris Sprowls, said Thursday that Florida is being “proactive” to avoid losing the excellence achieved in the elections in the state.

When the state Congress passed the law, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, the only Democrat on the state executive, said Republicans were restricting voting by mail because more Democrats than Republicans turned to mail in 2020. .

“It is the suppression of voters, plain and simple,” he stressed.

The president of the Florida Democratic Party said today that this law “is not about electoral integrity, it is about a blatant suppression of voters, simply because they can.”

“This is not about Republicans against Democrats, but Republicans against democracy, and democracy in Florida is suffering because Republicans are in power,” he added.

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