With two full days left in the Florida legislature, Republican lawmakers are still at odds over a controversial voting bill opposed by Democrats and election observers.
The Florida House on Wednesday voted in favor of its option, which would require Florida residents to submit an identity card when the ballot is left in the ballot box, with election observers warning of long queues.
The 77-40 vote followed hours of heated debate, with accusations by Democrats that Republicans were trying to prevent people from voting.
The House bill is now returning to the Florida Senate. To become law, both houses must pass the same bill before the end of the legislative session scheduled for Friday.
Republicans are steadily approving both versions of the bill, but the House version of the bill, which was released Tuesday morning 1: 1. 33, includes some key provisions that are not in the Senate version.
▪: Anyone using a ballot box must show an ID card when lowering the ballot.
▪: When a member of an elected body of a county or municipality resigns to run for office, the governor appoints a replacement instead of voting in a snap election.
▪: It no longer prohibits non-partisan candidates from running late, a ban that was a restorative response to the use of non-partisan candidates to undermine the results of races, a practice that led to the recent arrest of a former Republican senator.
The Florida non-partisan election, representing the top officials in the 67 state elections in the US state of Florida, opposed the proposals of both chambers, arguing that the changes could lead to long queues, administrative headaches for their employees.
Legislatures across the country are proposing to tighten postal voting laws after former President Donald Trump made unsubstantiated allegations of widespread voter fraud.
When last year’s epidemic threatened to keep people out of the polls, Democrats changed their strategy to encourage mail-in voting, with 680,000 more ballots than last year’s Republicans.
On Tuesday, House-sponsor Rep-Blaise Ingoglia, R-Spring Hill, said Republicans had seen a poll showing support for the measures they proposed.
“Your voters say, ‘We want this bill,'” Ingolia said.
The bill prohibits people from having more than two ballots in an election cycle, which they say is an attempt to prevent “ballot collecting” when candidates or others collect a large number of ballots to leave. Ballot collecting has been the source of many scandals since the 1990s.
Given that Florida’s November election was a resounding success, even among officials like Gov. Ron Desantis, Democrats say Republicans are simply trying to make it harder to vote.
“This state’s bill is a revival of my Crow in this state,” said Omar Hardy of D-West Palm Beach. “Whether the sponsors admit it or not is what it is.”