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Florida State Senate Approves Tighter Rules On Vote-By-Mail And Drop Boxes

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Florida Senate approves voting rrestrictions

The Florida state Senate on Monday approved tighter vote-by-mail regulations in a bill that in recent days was made less stringent after neighboring Georgia's new voting restrictions elicited widespread condemnation.

A stronger version of the Florida legislation is still under consideration in the state's House of Representatives. The two chambers must approve an identical measure for it to reach Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis' desk for signature. Florida's legislative session is scheduled to end Friday.

SB 90 passed on a near party-line vote of 23-17, with one Republican joining all Democrats in opposition.

Among other changes to Florida voting laws, the bill would put an end to 24/7 ballot drop boxes; they would have to be monitored in-person by an elections official and would only accept ballots during early voting hours. Those who wanted to vote by mail would have to request a mail ballot every election cycle, rather than every two, as under current law. And no one but an election worker could distribute items, including food and beverages, within 150 feet of polls or drop boxes.

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