Florida Republicans reportedly fear they miscalculated on new voting restrictions

Brendan Morrow
·2 min read

Some Florida Republicans are reportedly growing concerned that a new bill curbing the use of mail-in voting could end up backfiring on the party.

After Florida's state legislature recently passed a bill to place new restrictions on mail ballots, some Republicans in the state are "reacting with alarm," The Washington Post reports. After all, the bill will be "curtailing a practice that millions of state Republicans use," the Post writes, and Republicans are worried their "political fortunes are in peril" as a result.

The bill, for example, requires that voters reapply for mail ballots each two-year cycle, whereas the current law requires them to reapply every four years, and it also restricts the use of drop boxes, the report notes. The state legislature moved to enact the changes following the 2020 presidential election, during which former President Donald Trump attacked the use of mail-in voting.

But almost 35 percent of GOP voters in Florida cast their ballots by mail in 2020, and Republicans fear the bill will "further undercut the party's ability to encourage mail voting," the Post writes.

"Donald Trump attempted to ruin a perfectly safe and trusted method of voting," a Republican consultant told the Post. "The main law that we pass when we pass election bills in Florida is the law of unintended consequences."

One former state party official expressed particular concern that military personnel "might not think they have to request a ballot" and seniors "might not know the law has changed, and they might not get a ballot." Some Republicans reportedly discussed trying to exclude these two groups from the requirement to request mail ballots each cycle but were told this would "raise equal protection problems."

Republican State Sen. Joe Gruters denied to the Post that the bill will "hurt anybody, Republicans or Democrats," arguing "people are going to understand the changes that we me made long before another election comes around." Read more at The Washington Post.

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