Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recently announced during a press conference in West Palm Beach that he will be supporting legislature looking to improve and strengthen the state’s election integrity. He said this is what will help Florida stay “ahead of the curb,” pointing out how his state had one of the most transparent and efficient processes during the 2020 election.
“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 anyone tell you it can’t be done,” Gov. DeSantis said.
The Governor called Florida a leader on key issues for proving blueprints that other states can follow such as ballot integrity, public access to election information, transparency of election reporting, and so forth.
Among the issues, Gov. DeSantis talked about getting rid of ballot harvesting and mass mailing of unsolicited ballots while still continuing to offer absentee ballots by request. “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,” he added. Gov. DeSantis also talked about how vote-by-mail requests must be made each election year and match the most recent signature on file.
In terms of transparency, Gov. DeSantis said they would prohibit counties from receiving private third-party organization grants for “get out the vote” initiatives, require Supervisors of Elections to post over-vote ballots on their website before the canvassing board meets, and that political parties and candidates cannot be shut out from observing the signature matching process. He wants Florida citizens to follow the real-time reporting of voter turnout data and see how many ballots have been requested, how many have been received, and how many are left to be counted.
The “get out the vote” initiative refers back to extensive reports and donations by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to the Center for Technology and Civic Life, an organization that spends hundreds of millions of dollars on increasing turnout in heavily Democrat areas. Gov. DeSantis said he wants citizens to have confidence in the elections and strike the appropriate balance. “We want everyone to vote, we don’t want anyone to cheat,” he added.
There were too many times during the 2020 election that left-leaning states “found” lost ballots even after everyone else finished counting. Public confidence in the election process would strengthen if more states adopted the DeSantis standard.