Gov. DeSantis, former head of Florida GOP put support behind sweeping election changes

Gov. Ron DeSantis and the former head of the Florida GOP want to make sweeping changes to how elections results are tallied going forward.

“We need to continue to make sure we stay ahead of the curve,” DeSantis said Friday.

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At a Friday campaign event, the governor threw his support behind changes to Florida’s elections.

“There is going to be a number of things that we’re going to ask the legislature to address in this upcoming legislative session, which starts just a couple of weeks from now,” DeSantis said.

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The changes proposed by the governor include valid drop boxes and limits on what’s known as ballot harvesting, or the collection of vote-by-mail ballots.

His suggestions also included many recommendations that are already in place, including observing the process and reporting voting data.

“Our elections should be nothing short of safe, secure and transparent,” DeSantis said.

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The proposed changes come after, for the first time in almost two decades, Florida Republicans didn’t dominate in vote-by-mail in the 2020 election, with Democrats posting a higher request rate and higher return rate.

And on the night of the presidential election, Florida counted ballots and reported results hours and, in some cases, weeks ahead of other states.

Any changes would still need the approval of the Florida legislature, which will not begin its session until next month.

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.