Why Florida Republicans' new voter-suppression law matters

Florida officials took great pride in how well their system of elections performed in 2020. State Republicans are imposing new voting restrictions anyway.

5/6/2021 6:24:00 PM

.MaddowBlog: Florida officials took great pride in how well their system of elections performed in 2020. State Republicans are imposing new voting restrictions anyway.

Florida officials took great pride in how well their system of elections performed in 2020. State Republicans are imposing new voting restrictions anyway.

Matias J. Ocner / Miami Herald via APMay 6, 2021, 2:15 PM UTCBySteve BenenThe substantive significance of Florida's new voter-suppression law is obviously more important than the optics surrounding the bill signing, but in this case, this morning's partisan ceremony was surprisingly relevant. The

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Miami Heraldreported:During a nationally televised event hosted by a fan club of former President Donald Trump, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday signed into law contentious and wide-ranging changes to the state's voting laws.... Highlighting the sharply partisan debate surrounding Senate Bill 90, passed by state lawmakers last week, DeSantis barred most Florida reporters from attending the event held in West Palm Beach before the group Club 45 USA. Fox News was granted exclusive access.

In fact, one reporter from theSouth Florida Sun Sentinelonly to be turned awaybecause he didn't work for Fox News.When Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signed his state's Republican voter-suppression law, he did so surrounded by Republicans, in front of a painting of a slave plantation. When a Black state legislator tried to enter the room to watch, she was arrested and taken to jail. headtopics.com

This morning wasn't much better.Indeed, the south Florida event had all the subtlety of a sledgehammer. While Florida GOP officials have spent weeks pretending that this measure had nothing to do with partisan politics, and that their sole focus was on"election integrity," DeSantis didn't bother with the pretense when signing the bill into law. The Republican governor signed a Republican bill, designed to help give Republicans an electoral advantage, at a Republican club, while granting exclusive access to a cable network aligned with Republican politics.

This has nothing to do with improving the state's system of elections, and everything to do with rigging the game. NBC Newsreportedthis morning on the measure's key provisions:DeSantis' signature enacts a host of changes into Florida's election laws, including limits on where drop boxes could be placed, restrictions on who can drop off a voter's ballot, a mandate that drop boxes be staffed while open, new powers for partisan poll watchers as well as a requirement that voters must request to vote-by-mail more frequently.

The changes go into effect immediately and will be in place for next year's congressional and gubernatorial races in the Sunshine State.Given the severity of the new voting restrictions, one might assume that Republicans were responding to widespread problems with the administration of the 2020 elections. That assumption would be spectacularly wrong: Florida officials took great pride in how well their system of elections performed in 2020, an election cycle that happened to be quite good for GOP candidates up and down the ballot.

But Republicans put new hurdles between voters and their democracy anyway, in part because they could, in part to give themselves an added electoral advantage, and in part because the party believes it must enact policies in line with the GOP's Trumpian conspiracy theories. headtopics.com

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State Rep. Blaise Ingoglia (R-Fla.), who helped lead the push for the voting restrictions, was pressed last week for some kind of evidence of fraud that would justify new voting restrictions."I don't know, but I'm sure it was going on," the conservative legislator

responded."Just the fact that they weren't caught doesn't necessarily mean that it's not happening."By that reasoning, the fact that I haven't caught any vampire unicorns isn't necessarily proof that they're not out there somewhere.

There's no point in playing ridiculous games with reality here. Republicans don't have proof because it doesn't exist, and they don't believe they need proof because voter-suppression measures like these are about rigging democracy, not responding to actual system problems in need of a solution.

There is, however, a potential hiccup in the GOP's plan. TheWashington Postreportedthis week that some in the party have privately warned that the new measure is so effective in undermining voting rights, it might actually affect the ability of Republican voters to participate, too. Florida GOP officials have spent decades carefully cultivating a robust program of absentee balloting, and in response to an imaginary problem, DeSantis & Co. have decided to interfere with the system many in Republican operatives were inclined to leave intact. headtopics.com

This raised so many red flags that some in the partymade a ridiculous proposal:One former state party official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to relay private conversations said some Republicans briefly discussed whether lawmakers could exempt those two groups from the provision requiring voters to request mail ballots every election cycle. "Key lawmakers said, 'You can't do that,' " the former official said. "It would raise equal protection problems."

Read more: MSNBC »

MaddowBlog Of course.

Civil Rights Groups Sue Florida Moments After DeSantis Signs ‘Voter Suppression Bill’ Into LawThe new law “makes it harder to vote without adequate justification for doing so,” the groups argue.

Texas GOP now selling election reform bill as 'easy to vote, hard to cheat''I don't believe that this is voter suppression; I believe it is voter enhancement,' said Texas Republican Briscoe Cain, who authored the bill. Never forget folks; every single one of these GOP 'voter reform acts' is predicated on the lie that Trump won the election but had it 'stolen' from him. Selling it to who? Nobody believes anything they say except their Klan base Easy to be insane, hard to have a brain, that's the GQP motto !!!

Civil Rights Groups Sue Florida Moments After DeSantis Signs ‘Voter Suppression Bill’ Into LawFlorida-based civil rights groups sued state and local election officials Thursday to block new restrictive voting measures Restrictive, no voter honesty.

Boris Johnson Accused Of Republican-Style ‘Voter Suppression’ Ahead Of Controversial Photo ID AnnouncementI am a London-based reporter for Forbes covering breaking news. Previously, I have worked as a reporter for a specialist legal publication covering big data and as a freelance journalist and policy analyst covering science, tech and health. I have a master’s degree in Biological Natural Sciences and a master’s degree in the History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Cambridge. Follow me on Twitter theroberthart or email me at rhartforbes.com

Texas Lawmakers Pass Election Bill as Florida Governor Signs Its Own Into LawTexas lawmakers approved new voting rules, following Florida’s and Georgia’s tightening of election laws. The bill drew pushback from companies and civil-rights groups. why? if you are a LIVE citizen and can prove you are who you say you are at the time of the vote=you can vote. Simple! ever try getting on an airplane? Corporations should cut off all funding to Republicans until vote repression laws are removed. Tears grips my heart knowing how hard I've struggled to find a legit trader. I never wanted to do this but I'll be guilty if i don't share this good news to people to join the best trader have ever know. Thanks for helping me and i will forever be grateful to you Elliot_sykes_