NewsHillsborough County


Florida legislature passes controversial bill that adds new limits on voting

Posted at 5:41 PM, Apr 30, 2021

TAMPA, Fla. — Many people, including election supervisors, are not happy about new voting restrictions that they say will make it harder for people to vote.

"It’ll put extra work on us that I think is unnecessary. And it puts extra work on the voter that I think is unnecessary," said Craig Latimer, Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections and president of the Florida Supervisors of Elections.

Latimer says the 2020 election process went smoothly across the state.

"We were the gold standard. People were holding us up that the rest of the nation should be looking at us," said Latimer.

But accusations of voter fraud in other parts of the county led Florida republicans to almost unanimously pass a bill adding restrictions to the current voting process.

"One fraudulent vote is one fraudulent vote too many," said Sen. Travis Hutson, (R) Florida, district 7. "We’ve seen some of these races get to two or three votes and when somebody wins that close and you have a handful of fraudulent votes it's going to jeopardize the integrity of that election."

The bill makes mail-in ballot drop boxes less available and makes it so mail-in voters have to re-register every time they vote. Something that Latimer says is not necessary.

"It's our job to make sure that those who are legally registered have an opportunity to vote. And that opportunity should not have to be jumping through hoops to cast your ballot," said Latimer.

Other organizations are also speaking out against the bill. A statement the ACLU of Florida said in part, “They are suppressing the right to vote by obstructing access to vote-by-mail.”

While the bill’s opposers say it suppresses the right to vote, supporters say the bill protects it.

"We’re making sure every vote counts, and every legal vote counts and there’s no fraud going on," said Hutson.

Next, the bill will go to Gov. DeSantis who is expected to sign it into law.