Tampa Bay Republican proposes new election bill that would ban giving voters water

Politics

TAMPA (WFLA) – A Republican from the Tampa Bay area is attempting to pass a bill that would effectively make it a crime to give voters food or drink, including water, within 150 feet of polling places.

H.B. 7041 proposes expanding that zone to 150 feet and includes a prohibition on giving “any item” to voters or “interacting or attempting to interact” with voters within that zone.

According to NBC News, State Rep. Blaise Ingoglia (R- Spring Hill) said in a committee meeting last Monday that the ban would include “food or beverages.”

The bill follows similar legislation put into place by Georgia’s new election law that bars outside groups from handing out food or water to people in line to vote.

The bill comes as Gov. Ron DeSantis advocated for new mail voting restrictions last month.

The measures include eliminating the ability for anyone outside of your immediate family to pick up and drop off your ballot.

DeSantis admitted that Florida is “not a big ballot harvesting state as it is.” Florida also does not send out mail ballots without a voter requesting one.

Yet both measures were among the items DeSantis wants to eliminate, along with ballot drop-off boxes. The boxes were extremely popular this year when voters used them to avoid large crowds at voting sites.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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