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Baxley's bill restricting mail-in ballot requests passes Florida Senate

Florida Sen. Dennis Baxley. Photo via Dennisbaxley.com
Photo via Dennisbaxley.com

A Republican elections bill adding vote-by-mail restrictions, limiting drop boxes to certain hours and tightening signature verification passed the Florida Senate Monday on a vote along party lines.

Now it goes to the House.

Ocala Senator Dennis Baxley's bill initially canceled drop boxes altogether. It has been amended to allow staffed drop boxes during office hours.

In the future, voters would only be able to request mail-in ballots for one election cycle. And their signatures must be verified using only previous pen-to-paper examples.

Outside volunteers wouldn't be allowed to give water or food to voters within 150 feet of the polling place.

Baxley says his bill adds "guardrails" to prevent potential voter fraud. Democrats see yet another GOP attempt at voter suppression.

Joe Byrnes came to Central Florida Public Media from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.