October 17, 2022

Ron DeSantis is relaxing voting rules in three Republican counties that were hit hard by Hurricane Ian, and it's not like we didn't expect it -- because he's not making any changes to help voters in the Democratic counties that were also hit hard. Via the Washington Post:

More than 1 million voters in Charlotte, Sarasota and Lee counties will have more time to get to the polls for early voting in the upcoming general election and will have more ways to file a mail-in ballot under the order the Republican governor signed Wednesday.

Some of the accommodations being offered run counter to recently enacted voting laws pushed by DeSantis and passed by the GOP-led state legislature. Among those laws is one that limits drop boxes, called “ballot intake stations” in the law.

Under the order, elections supervisors in the three counties can set up new early-voting and drop-box sites. Vote-by-mail ballots can also be sent to an address other than where the voter is registered.

“Tens of thousands of Floridians have been displaced, and today’s executive order fails to meet the moment and ensure voting access for all Florida voters,” Jasmine Burney-Clark, founder of the voter rights organization Equal Ground, said in a statement. “Instead, Governor DeSantis is politicizing a natural disaster.”


Voting rights advocates have been asking for DeSantis to make allowances for voters affected by Hurricane Ian across the state. Representatives from a number of organizations, including Equal Ground, the American Civil Liberties Union, the NAACP and the Voting Rights Project, wrote a letter to Byrd and DeSantis on Tuesday asking for an emergency order to make voting easier in all 24 counties considered to be disaster areas.

Some of what the groups requested — including expanding early-voting days and locations — was included in the order DeSantis signed on Wednesday, but only for three counties.

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