A Senate Republican files a bill to take away the right to cast a mail ballot for many Floridians

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Vote-by-mail ballot dropoff sign in Pinellas County, Florida. By Seán Kinane / WMNF News (Oct. 2018).

©2024 The News Service of Florida

A Senate Republican has filed a bill that could lead to potentially far-reaching changes in voting by mail.

Sen. Blaise Ingoglia, a Spring Hill Republican who is a former chair of the Republican Party of Florida, filed the bill (SB 1752) for consideration during the legislative session that will start Tuesday.

In part, it would place restrictions on who may cast ballots by mail.

While mail-in voting is now broadly available, the bill would allow it only for certain groups, such as people who would be absent from their home counties, people who have illnesses or disabilities that prevent them from going to polling places and members of the military stationed overseas.

Also, it would require that vote-by-mail ballots be requested for each election and would limit where the ballots can be dropped off to elections supervisors’ main and branch offices.

Voters can currently return the ballots to early voting sites.

Political and legal battles about voting by mail have repeatedly flared in recent years, after the method was heavily used during the 2020 elections — particularly by Democrats.

“Democrats are proficient and good at vote by mail, so they (Republicans) look to see where our strengths are and try to attack them from a legislative perspective and use their power in the Legislature as an instrument,” Sen. Jason Pizzo, D-Sunny Isles Beach, said Monday when asked about the bill, which was filed Friday.

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