On Friday, in a blunt assessment of the situation, Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis issued an election integrity proposal that would ensure fair voting in his state.
That proposal included the following provisions, as delineated by Daniel Horowitz of The Blaze:
- Counties would be prohibited from receiving grants from private third-party organizations for “get out the vote” initiatives.
- Ballot boxes would be examined for their trustworthiness
- Ballot harvesting would be checked so that no one could have a ballot other then their own or their immediate family
- Vote-by-mail ballots could not be sent en masse; only voters asking for a ballot would receive one
- Vote-by-mail requests must be made each election year
- Vote by mail ballot signatures must match the most recent signature on file
- Political parties and candidates must be permitted to observe the signature matching process.
- Supervisors of Elections must report how many ballots have been requested, how many have been received, how many are left to be counted, and must post over-vote ballots to be considered by the canvassing board on their website before the canvassing board meets.
- Precincts must have real-time reporting of voter turnout data
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, a lot of states used that as a pretext to be able to do hastily new forms of voting. We didn’t do that in Florida. We had a system; we had confidence in the system; we knew it was safe, and we did it. We were not going to be sending out unsolicited mass mail ballots because, as we’ve seen, there’s problems with that. And when people tried to sue us, we told them, “Pound sand. We’re not going to change what we’re doing.”
So the result of 2020 from an administrative perspective was that Florida had the most transparent and efficient election anywhere in the country. Other states took days, weeks, and even months to count their votes, and yet Florida, by midnight on Election Night, we had 99% reporting and 11 million votes counted, tabulated, and put out to the public. It can be done, and don’t let anybody tell you it can’t be done.
So I think it’s important to point that out, and I think Floridians of all stripes can rest assured that in this state your vote counts. Your vote matters; your vote will be counted. It’s gonna be transparent; it’s gonna be above board. It’s gonna be a confidence-inspiring process. And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Don’t let anyone point to any other state and try to act like that is how Florida conducts elections because that is not true. That may have been true 20 years ago; that is not true now.
So we have led on this issue from the very beginning; the results speak for themselves, but we also can’t rest on our laurels. We need to make sure that we continue to stay ahead of the curve. We need to make sure that our citizens have confidence in the elections, that they have the ability to vote. We want, obviously, everyone to vote, but we don’t want anyone to cheat, and we want to make sure that we strike that appropriate balance.
He added, “My view is we should have no ballot harvesting at all in the state of Florida. When you think about it, if you go in to vote on Election Day, they’ll be 150 feet, no one will even talk to you when you’re going; it’s like a sacred thing. You’re in a poll; you do all the thing; you put it in; you see the process. How could you say that this is how you do it in person and then somehow someone can just harvest hundreds of votes and dump it in some dropbox?”
He noted, “We’re not a big ballot harvesting state as it is, but any type of loopholes or any type of room where that could be abused we want to make sure we address it,” before continuing with his explanation of other steps he would take.
His speech is below: