State leaders are proposing a ban on drop boxes and Gov. Ron DeSantis is on board.
During the 2020 election, a large number of people used drop boxes to cast their votes.
In Florida, close to 5 million people voted by mail-in ballots to cast their vote in the November election, many of them dropped their ballots off at drop boxes, which was helpful during the pandemic.
In Lee County alone, Supervisor of Elections Tommy Doyle said 95,000 people, or about 25% of voters, cast their votes via dropbox.
DeSantis, who once touted the success of Florida’s November election process, supports the Senate bill to get rid of drop boxes. The bill would also force voters to sign up for mail-in ballots every year instead of every two years and it would restrict the handling of the mail-in ballots to immediate family members only.
DeSantis said voting as a polling place is sacred.
“You go, everyone’s watching, make sure everything’s safe,” DeSantis said. “To have some dropbox without anyone attending it, yeah I don’t support that.”
Neither does the majority of Florida’s Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee, which passed a ban on the boxes at early voting sites and at elections offices.
Traditionally, mail-in voting favored Republicans but that changed in 2020 when Democrats cast 683,000 more mail-in votes than Republicans.
Doyle said he thinks one of the ideas of eliminating drop boxes is to try to eliminate ballot harvesting.
That’s when people go to someone’s house, get them to vote by mail-in ballot and then mail the vote.
“I think the reason they’re saying that is because they think drop boxes are opening things up to fraud,” Doyle said. “But of course we haven’t seen any fraud that we know of.”