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Florida Continues Setting National Benchmark for Election Integrity & Transparency

Washington, D.C. Governor Ron DeSantis will soon sign legislation to further strengthen election integrity in Florida law. Building on the successes of last year’s landmark election integrity package, S.B. 524 was passed by the state legislature last week and includes a series of measures proposed by DeSantis to further support fair, secure, and transparent Florida elections that voters can trust.

Shortly after the bill’s introduction, on February 3, 2021, the Election Transparency Initiative urged swift passage of the bill, calling upon Florida’s legislature to “continue lighting the way on these important issues, critical not just in Florida, but to all Americans seeking renewed faith in a democratic process they can believe in.”

National Chairman of the Election Transparency Initiative and former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli issued the following statement:

“Some want to make it easy to cheat and hard to prove in our elections, others want to make it easy to vote and hard to cheat. We thank the legislature and Governor DeSantis for their leadership, and for their dogged pursuit of free and fair elections in the face of unprecedented headwinds. The epidemic of eroded public trust and confidence in our elections is very real and the concerns of normal Americans are profoundly legitimate, but through their determination Florida is helping ensure everyone’s voice is heard at the polls—and not diluted. The landmark reforms of 2021 and 2022 have gone a long way toward healing the concerns of millions of disenfranchised American voters, but these efforts wouldn’t be complete without the enactment of true voter I.D. protections for absentee ballots, and ensuring that every legal mail-in vote is counted fairly and openly.”

Importantly, S.B. 524 would further restrict private and foreign money from being selectively funneled into local elections to affect turnout, as well as setting standards for voter roll maintenance, citizenship verification, petition signature retention and verification, and the development of proposed voter I.D. protections for absentee ballots.

The legislation also prohibits ranked-choice voting and establishes a statewide office of Election Crimes and Security to “investigate election crimes and irregularities and make referrals for further legal action directly to a statewide prosecutor,” while increasing criminal penalties for ballot trafficking and acts of election fraud.

Polls show the majority of voters, including Black and Hispanic voters, as well as urban and independent voters, overwhelmingly support voter I.D. protections and want it to be easy to vote and hard to cheat.

The Election Transparency Initiative, a partnership between American Principles Project (APP) and the national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List), was organized to combat H.R. 1 and H.R. 4 and advocate for state-based election reforms that voters can trust.