By Vilia Johnson, Longboat Key, election reform chair, League of Women Voters of Sarasota County, published in the Sarasota Herald Tribune, March 15, 2021
After the remarkable turnout in the November 2020 election, Florida was lauded for conducting a model election – efficient and transparent. However, current legislation in the Florida Senate would undermine this success on the pretext of improving security.
The bill, SB 90, is clearly aimed at suppressing votes, specifically votes by mail. More than 4.8 million Floridians voted by mail in the November contest – 43.5% of voters – with no legitimate claims of fraud.
Senate Bill 90’s onerous restrictions on voting by mail include:
- Requiring voters to request a ballot every election year (including submitting a new request for 2022 even if already submitted).
- Prohibiting drop boxes for the return of ballots.
- Limiting who may collect and deliver ballots to family members.
SB 90, sponsored by Republican Sen. Dennis Baxley, of Ocala, is strongly opposed by Florida’s nonpartisan county elections supervisors, who say that current protocols securing vote by mail work well and note that the measure could cost Florida taxpayers up to $16 million.
Our elected officials should work to increase voter participation, not hinder it. The League of Women Voters of Sarasota County encourages voters to contact their state senators requesting that they keep our elections easy, accessible and secure by voting “No” on SB 90.
Editor’s footnote: Just say “NO on SB90” to State Senator Joe Gruters (District 23) 1-850-487-5023, State Senator Ben Albritton (District 26) 1- 850-487-5026, and State Representative Mike Grant 1-850-717-5075