WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Florida Senate has advanced a voter suppression bill that would limit ballot drop boxes and increase how often voters must submit new absentee ballot requests. Senate Bill 90 passed the state Senate on a party-line vote on Monday after weeks of public opposition from voting rights and veterans groups. The bill would limit the use of ballot drop boxes to during the early voting period only and cut the length of time for which an absentee ballot request is honored. Currently, if a voter in Florida requests an absentee ballot, they will continue to receive a mail-in ballot for all elections over the next two cycles or for two general elections. The bill would cut this time to one cycle, requiring voters to file a new request for every general election.
Earlier versions of the bill fully banned the use of drop boxes and included a “wet signature” requirement — meaning that election supervisors must compare the signature on a ballot to a pen-on-paper signature on file with the state. If no such paper signature is on file, the ballot would be rejected. After public outcry from voting rights groups, these two provisions were eliminated.
A House version of the bill is still going through the amendment process. The two bills will need to be reconciled before they are sent to Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) for his signature.