Politics GOP Gov. DeSantis signs Florida election law while shutting out all media but Fox News
Dems fume over silence from DeSantis on Florida election
Democrats are voicing frustration with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) over the special election for the late Rep. Alcee Hastings's (D-Fla.) seat.Hastings, who represented a majority Black district in South Florida for nearly three decades, died early this month after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Florida law gives DeSantis broad authority to set a date for the special election to replace him, but he has so far remained silent on when voters can expect to choose their next representative.
- Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the bill, S.B. 90, in a closed-door event that blocked out all reporters and media coverage — except for Fox News.
- The NAACP promptly filed a federal lawsuit alleging the law violates the U.S. Constitution, the Voting Rights Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- Florida is only the latest GOP-led state to push for new voting restrictions.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday signed into law a sweeping election bill that has drawn accusations it will suppress voter turnout and already faces a legal challenge.
Will DeSantis, Rubio and Scott torch each other to vault from Florida to the White House?
A battle is shaping up behind the scenes between three strong Republicans in Florida for the 2024 presidential race.Of course, one never truly knows when it comes to Trump. There was the bizarre recent news report by Business Insider in which a Trump "adviser" declared that the former president "has lost 15 pounds since he left the White House." One "veteran Republican strategist" told the publication: "I think there's an extra 10 percent to 15 percent chance he runs if he lost 20 pounds.
DeSantis signed the bill, S.B. 90, in a closed-door event that blocked out all reporters and media coverage — except for Fox News, which in a live interview applauded the Republican governor for his response to the coronavirus pandemic.
DeSantis said in a press release that the new voting rules are designed to boost election security. "Floridians can rest assured that our state will remain a leader in ballot integrity," he said.
However, civil and voting rights groupsin federal court alleging the law violates the U.S. Constitution, the Voting Rights Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The NAACP, Disability Rights Florida, and Common Cause argue that the law imposes burdensome identification requirements to vote by mail and severely limits drop boxes among other hurdles, provisions which will negatively impact voters of color and those with disabilities.
GOP Gov. DeSantis signs Florida election bill into law amid new controversy
Gov. Ron DeSantis created new controversy around Florida's already controversial new election law Thursday, giving exclusive access to the signing ceremony to Fox News. "In about an hour, behind this door at meeting facility at Airport Hilton in West Palm Beach, @GovRonDeSantis will sign law making it harder for some people to vote. No Florida reporters allowed in because he’s given an exclusive to cable channel Fox News for the bill signing," tweeted Anthony Man, the senior political writer for the South Florida Sun Sentinel. He said that "hundreds" of DeSantis' and former President Donald Trump's supporters were also allowed into the event.
"I'm not a fan of drop boxes at all, to be honest with you, but the legislature wanted to keep them," DeSantis said on Fox.
The governor, who signed the bill inside a Hilton hotel near a Palm Beach airport, was flanked by supporters, who clapped and cheered at his answers in the interview.
Meanwhile, local outlets reported being blocked out of the event.
"News media is barred from entry at Gov. Ron DeSantis' signing of controversial elections bill," Sun Sentinel columnist Steve Bousquet tweeted. "DeSantis spokeswoman Taryn Fenske says bill signing is a 'Fox exclusive.'"
CBS reporter Jay O'Brien said that his outlet and others also were "not allowed into the event."
DeSantis "signed a law today that will impact ALL Floridians. And only some viewers were allowed to see it. That's not normal," O'Brien tweeted.
DeSantis' office did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment about why no journalists were allowed in the signing room.
What Do Florida's New Election Laws Say? Ron DeSantis Signs Bill Curbing Mail-In Voting
The new omnibus law targets drop boxes, voter identification, mail ballot applications and third-party ballot collection at nursing homes.The state's new election laws will include stricter voter ID requirements for voting by mail, create limits on who can pick up and return a voter's ballot at drop boxes and ban election officials from using private funding to pay for elections.
Florida is only the latest GOP-led state to push for new voting restrictions. Georgia passed a bill in March that prompted waves of criticism from Democrats, corporate leaders and sports leagues alike. Texas' legislature wason its own election bill.
Former President Donald Trump, who remains a de facto GOP leader despite his loss to President Joe Biden, has repeatedly cast doubt about the integrity of the 2020 election before and after leaving office. Trump has spread an array of baseless conspiracy theories about widespread voter fraud and has falsely asserted he beat Biden.
Top U.S. officials in the Trump administration said the election was secure and thatthat would reverse Biden's victory.
House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney of Wyoming on Wednesday
"Trump is seeking to unravel critical elements of our constitutional structure that make democracy work — confidence in the result of elections and the rule of law. No other American president has ever done this," Cheney wrote in a Washington Post op-ed.
A growing number of House Republicans, as well as Trump and his allies, now say they no longer support Cheney as a leader.
Ron DeSantis got caught lying at his bill signing. He blocked all media but Fox News at his next one .
DeSantis' team only allowed the politically friendly Fox News inside to report on his Thursday bill signing Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks during a press conference about the opening of a COVID-19 vaccination site at the Hard Rock Stadium on January 06, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Florida. The governor announced that the stadium's parking lot which offers COVID-19 tests will begin to offer COVID-19 vaccinations for residents 65 and older to drive up and get vaccinated. The vaccination site opened today for a trial run but it was not known when it will be open to the general public.