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Key vote on Florida election reform bill to be postponed

'We would hope that those corporations would step up against these bills,' Patricia Brigham says
Posted at 5:53 PM, Apr 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-05 17:53:52-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Days after corporate backlash for Georgia's new voting laws, Florida lawmakers are postponing a key vote on one of its election reform bills.

SB 90's final hurdle, the Rules Committee, is no longer planning to discuss the measure Tuesday, according to a spokesperson for Senate leadership.

The policy would eliminate ballot drop boxes and increase how often voters need to request mail ballots.

The spokesperson said in a statement that SB 90's sponsor, State Sen. Dennis Baxley, R-Lady Lake, is "still working on the bill and gathering input and feedback from his colleagues, stakeholders, and constituents."

State Sen. Dennis Baxley
State Sen. Dennis Baxley has brushed off criticism that the bill would make it more difficult for people to cast a ballot.

Critics, meanwhile, warn Florida should expect the same blowback as Georgia if the Senate's bill, or similar House measure, is approved.

The MLB pulled its All-Star Game from Atlanta last week while major corporations scolded the northern neighbor for signing similar election reforms into law. Georgia's new policy restricts mail-in voting and puts new limits on ballot drop boxes.

Patricia Brigham, President of the Florida League of Women Voters, said major employers like Disney should take a stand to protect their workers before lawmakers can approve Florida's measures.

Patricia Brigham, President of the Florida League of Women Voters
Patricia Brigham believes Florida could face repercussions similar to Georgia if the voting bill becomes law.

"We would hope that those corporations would step up against these bills because many of their employees or service workers, who work all sorts of weird hours," Brigham said. "They need easy access to voting."

Florida's GOP majority is pushing approval of the legislation. Lawmakers have said it will strengthen the state’s election integrity. That’s despite a lack of widespread voter fraud last year.

Baxley said earlier this year his goal from the outset was to make it "easy to vote, but hard to cheat." His plans for SB 90 or when it will be heard in committee next isn't yet known.

Meanwhile, the House reform bill, HB 7041, is two committee stops from the chamber floor.