On May 6, Governor Ron DeSantis signed Florida’s election integrity law, S.B. 90. Florida state Representative Blaise Ingoglia hailed S.B. 90 as “landmark legislation that will restore confidence in the most sacred right we have as Americans.” However, Rep. Charlie Crist, who is challenging DeSantis for governor in 2022, called the law “un-American, unconstitutional, [and] anti-democratic.” Since its passage, S.B. 90 has been challenged in multiple lawsuits by far-left organizations, such as Demos and Advancement Project.
How much do you know about Florida’s new election integrity law? Let’s play “Two Truths & a Lie” and find out.
A. S.B. 90 protects the right to vote of the elderly, minorities, and those with disabilities.
B. S.B. 90 protects voters from intimidation and improper influence by outside groups.
C. S.B. 90 bans drop boxes.
Let’s take these statements one at a time:
A. TRUTH! S.B. 90 protects the right to vote of the elderly, minorities, and voters with disabilities by prohibiting non-relatives from collecting more than two absentee ballots of others. This reform combats the fraudulent actions of boleteras, ballot brokers who manipulate voters into filling out absentee ballots against their wishes and target Haitian Creole-speaking, Hispanic, older voters living in nursing homes, and those with disabilities.
Such S.B. 90 provisions are a state-wide version of a local voter protection ordinance in Miami-Dade County, passed after the arrest of Sergio “El Tío” Robaina, a boletera who defrauded a female voter with dementia. Robaina’s case, unfortunately, was not an isolated incident. Also in Miami, the self-described “Queen of Absentee Ballots” ran radio ads urging Haitian Creole-speaking voters to “consult” with “teacher Carline” before casting absentee ballots, in order to “vote correctly.” In Hialeah, Deisy Cabrera kept a “Deisy’s Voters” notebook of hundreds of elderly Hispanic voters targeted in nursing homes, and manipulated a terminally ill and mentally incapacitated older woman in a nursing home.
B. TRUTH! S.B. 90 requires non-governmental groups who engage in voter outreach efforts to notify voters if the organization may not deliver the application by time and that the voter has the option to return the application in person or mail. Progress Florida and leftist groups that conduct get-out-the-vote drives criticized S.B. 90 for making it “more difficult for community voter registration drives.” In reality, S.B. 90 makes it more difficult for outside groups that fail to provide voters with the information about their rights or that do not submit absentee ballot applications by deadline.
C. LIE! S.B. 90 allows secure drop box voting. Although an earlier draft of the bill contemplated a ban on drop boxes, the legislators kept drop boxes in the final act to keep voting easy, but they added protections to ensure it’s hard to cheat. S.B. 90 combats voter intimidation at drop boxes by prohibiting outside groups from soliciting voters in a zone around a drop box location. Florida also ensured local election officials have oversight over the drop boxes, by requiring that drop box locations be at early voting sites or elections offices, and subject to video monitoring.
The presence of an election official at a drop box will deter and protect voters from improper intimidation by candidates, employers, unions, political parties, or others. Seminole County, Florida already uses such drop box rules. S.B. 90 expands this reform to all 67 counties.
Bottom line: Florida’s election integrity law S.B. 90 prevents ballot brokers, outside groups, political parties, and candidates from intimidating voters. Contrary to the left’s assertions, voters across Florida—whether minorities, seniors, or voters with disabilities—can have increased confidence in their voting rights as a result of these election reforms.