Posted by James Madison of American Media Periscope
The Florida Senate passed Senate Bill 7050 which is a measure designed to safeguard elections in the state. It was passed along party lines in the Senate and next week will head to the Florida House where the GOP holds a supermajority that is expected to pass the bill and send it on to Governor Ron DeSantis who is expected to sign it. The bill includes new requirements for first time voters, new rules for third party voter registration organizations and make harassing election workers a crime. One more addition is that the bill contains a provision that would allow an elected official to keep his or her office if that person chooses to run for President or becomes a Vice Presidential nominee. Since Governor DeSantis is widely expected to enter the Presidential race, it carries a strong motivation for him to sign it.
However, just because the bill is being easily passed in Tallahassee does not mean it is popular with all Florida residents. Maria Zack is Chairman of Nations in Action ( https://nationsinaction.org/ ) which is one of forty citizen groups which have all signed a letter to the Governor stating that they oppose the bill because it does not cover several key areas of election fraud that would be left open if the bill becomes law. The letter stated that the groups are concerned that there are not protections within the legislation to ensure that only US citizens vote, that mail in ballots are secure and accurate while maintaining the ability to count votes manually in a given County.
While this is State of Florida legislation, AMP considers this to be an issue that should be recognized nationwide. Many people have had their doubts about the validity of both the 2020 and 2022 elections and the need to ensure that the public can have faith in the electoral process should be something every citizen can understand. Unfortunately, as with so many pieces of law, this one is largely partisan in its support with the GOP favoring election security laws and the Democrat Party opposing the laws as being forms of voter suppression. Some aspects are just so simple that they really should not need discussion such as the ability to ask someone for an ID to prove he or she is actually whom that person claims to be and that the individual is also legally eligible to vote. It is ludicrous to think that someone can be required to show an ID to fly on an airplane but it constitutes some form of oppression to have safety as a priority for something as important as the choosing of elected officials.
Governor DeSanitis will have a strong motivation to sign his own party’s legislation because in this case it would allow him to run for the Presidency without resigning. That said, this is poor legislation because it does not go far enough to protect the electoral process. So long as loopholes remain that allow the potential for fraud, they will only serve as methods which will attract bad actors who do not protect the well being of the nation as well as free and fair elections. AMP hopes Senate Bill 7050 is amended by the House before being sent on to the Governor.