Republican Governor Ron DeSantis Announces New Bill to Address Election Integrity at a Palm Beach Press Conference Earlier Today.
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R)
This morning, while more than 70 percent of Americans battled freezing weather, power outages, and severe water disruptions, I stood outside in "too-pleasant-to-be-February," 85-degree weather for a chance to listen to Governor Ron DeSantis give a press conference in my hometown of Palm Beach County, Florida.
What was the Governor's big announcement? No one knew beforehand. We just knew it was big enough to call in both members of the press and loyal constituents with less than 24 hours-notice.
Inside, I was one of only a handful of face-masked participants among an enthusiastic, socially-distanced crowd, waiting patiently to hear what DeSantis had to say.
Founder and Editor-In-Chief
Jett James Pruitt
The press conference started with an acknowledgement of the life and career of Conservative icon, Rush Limbaugh, and a heartfelt tribute from his longtime producer and friend, James "Bo Snerdley" Golden.
James "Bo Snerdley" Golden
The Rush Limbaugh Show
Once DeSantis took the podium, it was clear the heavily Republican crowd was more than pleased with his performance as Governor thus far, particularly of his choice of keeping Florida open for business amidst severe economic lockdowns in most other states. "We proved lockdowns don't work," said DeSantis repeatedly when citing COVID-19 numbers in other states like California. "We kept our businesses and schools open, and it paid off."
DeSantis spent the majority of his speech celebrating the success of Florida's 2020 election procedures. Specifically, he praised election officials for being able to accurately tabulate and report 99 percent of voting results before Midnight, November 3rd. In addition, DeSantis made it clear that voting problems experienced in other states would not be part of Florida's future.
"Florida had the most transparent and efficient election anywhere in the country," said Governor Ron DeSantis. "It can be done, and don't let anybody tell you it can't be done."
DeSantis continued by outlining a number of concrete measures that would address national concerns about election integrity, including banning the practice of mass-mailing of unsolicited ballots; eliminating private special interest groups from funding election operations; and prohibiting ballot harvesting, which would make it illegal for any third party to obtain custody of, or transport another person's ballot.
He also discussed adding additional security around ballot drop boxes, allowing both parties (including candidates) to personally observe tabulations, and forbidding adjudication and legal ballot reproduction from going behind closed doors. Most notably, he was dead set against the practice of ballot dumping days after the polls have officially closed — a statement well-received by the animated audience that came to listen to his announcement.
DeSantis also touted how he had not touched one penny of Florida's "rainy day fund" during the COVID-induced economic crisis, which was one of at least five times the Pro-Trump crowd gave him a standing ovation.
It was clear DeSantis was committing to legislating transparency into Florida's election future, and said he hoped to have an official bill signed in May.
As previously reported last November, we suggest that Governor DeSantis also consider making the following changes to ensure election confidence is fully restored by 2024.
HERE ARE 7 THINGS WE MUST DO AS A COUNTRY TO RESTORE VOTER FAITH IN ELECTIONS
Although elections are managed by each individual state, the following national laws should be passed to guarantee election integrity across the board:
1) Pass National Anti-Censorship Laws to Stop Social Media Platforms From Squashing News Stories of Any Kind.
Let the people decide what is real and fake news. Let voters decide what is true and false. Do not allow social media platforms to undermine the efforts of journalists who uncover stories that can turn elections, no matter how outrageous their claims may be. If our society survived grocery store tabloid headlines about alien abductions, Bigfoot reunions, and Elvis working at BestBuy, we can survive stories about laptops being left in repair shops.
2) Election Day Must Not Become Election Week.
The final day, the first Tuesday of November, must be the final day of collecting ballots. All states must start early voting six days prior to this deadline. All legal mail-in ballots must be received BEFORE the first Tuesday in November, or it should not be counted. If you vote by mail, you need to send it in early.
3) Require Valid Photo ID for All In-Person Voters and Photocopies of Photo ID for Absentee Voters.
If a valid photo ID is required for airlines, schools, utilities, courthouses, passports, and transactions at every other government building in the nation, why should voting be any less rigorous? This is a no brainer. This law should be enacted immediately.
4) Severely Reduce the Number of Mail-in Ballots, As Well as Third-Party Ballot Drop-off Boxes, and Only Accept Absentee Ballots from the Disabled, the U.S. Military, and Citizens Living Abroad.
I was shocked to learn that the majority of countries in the European Union ban mail-in ballots due to the vulnerability of fraud. Why is this not headline news?
Mail-in ballots should be a last resort only. If you send in your ballot, you must have a witness sign and also provide a copy of their photo ID. If you are away from home during Election Week, you need to plan ahead. For example, if you are a resident of Ohio but winter in Florida, then you must register to vote in Florida.
5) Install Multiple Cameras and 24/7 LIVE STREAM All Ballot Counting at All Locations.
We have no problem live streaming pregnant pandas about to give birth, but refuse to show the world how we count ballots? Put cameras in the rooms. Everywhere. Full transparency in future elections is an absolute must.
6) Allow Both Republicans and Democrats To Immediately Audit Election Software Results on Election Night.
A number of allegations were made after an election official in Michigan said voting software had accidentally switched thousands of votes from Trump to Biden — a story immediately snuffed by the media. Either way, both parties should have the right to receive software logs to check for fraud as soon as the initial count is finished.
7) End Same Day Voter Registration. Period.
A whopping 19 states (plus the District of Columbia) allow same day voter registration. Just imagine how this can affect the total known universe of voters and thus our ability to detect voter fraud and anomalies, like a 99.99 percent turnout rate in a rural county.
Everyone knows YEARS in advance when the next election day will be. Americans should plan ahead and make sure they are registered, verified, and eligible to vote. Elevating the laws surrounding elections is NOT voter suppression, it is restoring voter integrity for all Americans nationwide.
Article Written By Jett James Pruitt
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