MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A new bill passed by lawmakers in Tallahassee is heading to the desk of Governor Ron DeSantis.
If he signs it, it will limit voting by mail and the use of drop boxes that were so popular in the November election in 2020.READ MORE: Gov. Ron DeSantis Pledges to 'Fight Like Hell' Over Monoclonal Antibody Treatment
According to Republicans, it is an attempt to ease voter fears about the alleged election fraud following last year’s election.
But others say the election reform is completely unnecessary, and will only make voting harder for Floridians.
“What they are trying to do is make it harder to vote,” said Charles L. Zelden, a political science professor at Nova Southeastern University, referring the voter reform bill. And he and the impact will be felt mostly by Democrats, who tend to vote more by mail.
“They are not making it impossible, just more difficult. So for example, the old law was you could register for a two election cycles and automatically receive an absentee ballot. Now, it is a one year every cycle,” he adds.
In addition, the bill will add I.D. requirements to register to vote or request a vote by mail ballot, making it mandatory for voters to provide their driver’s license number or the last four digits of their social.
In Broward, Supervisor of Elections Joe Scott says there are other changes that could impact them.READ MORE: South Florida Rent Is Skyrocketing
“The biggest thing for us is that we are losing our 24-hour drop boxes that we have at the downtown office, as well as, in Lauderhill,” said Scott.
State Senator Dennis Baxley, who sponsored the bill, says the goal is to increase election security and he is adamant that the changes won’t impact voting.
“We have opened so many doors to how to vote that we really need to be looking at what could cause opportunities for mishap or mischief to occur. We don’t want to wait until we have a debacle, we want to be able to give a good report,” said Baxley.
Zelden thinks this is partisan politics.
“This is a trend across Republicans lawmakers across the nations which is when given a chance to make voting tighter, less easy to vote by mail, longer lines, less support from people who are waiting in line. That is an opportunity they are taking, basically saying we are going to do that because that will make voting more safe,” said Zelden.
Miami-Dade County Supervisor of Elections Christina White, sent us the following statement in response:MORE NEWS: ‘We're Looking For All Aspects’: Las Olas Businesses Seeking Workers
“Now that final language has been approved, we will spend the coming weeks reviewing policies and procedures to ensure compliance with new state laws. The Miami-Dade Elections Department remains committed to making voting as convenient and accessible as possible, following the new requirements established by our lawmakers.”