TAMPA (WFLA) – Florida’s Legislature on Thursday passed an election bill that includes new restrictions on drop boxes and voting by mail.
Republicans who support the proposed legislation say it’s additional security for Florida’s elections.
Democrats who are opposed to the bill believe it complicates the voting process for Floridians.
Both the state House and the state Senate passed the bills into law Thursday after weeks of negotiations between Republicans in both bodies. Now the bill is poised to be signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis.
The bill passed the Senate 23-17 and the House 77-40.
The new legislation makes a slew of changes to the state’s election laws.
- New voter ID and signature requirements
- Limit persons who can return completed ballots
- Tighten rules on ballot drop boxes
- Limit food, water and item distribution by election workers to 150 feet of polls or drop boxes
Only immediate family members, including grandchildren, would be allowed to return a voter’s ballot.
If approved, drop boxes would only be accessible during early voting hours and must be monitored by Supervisor of Elections staff at all times.
Florida’s 67 Supervisors of Elections do not support the changes and said they have continued to share information with lawmakers, according to a statement on their behalf.