Gov. DeSantis Signs Election Integrity Bill Into Law — No More ‘Zuckerbucks’ In Florida

Twitter of Gov. Ron DeSantis

On April 25 Governor Ron DeSantis signed another new bill into law as he approved S524 — the Election Integrity act. The bill was approved by the state senate in the March legislative season after politicians voted along partisan lines and approved the bill by 23 votes to 15.

Source: YouTube

With its approval, measures will be put in place that are intended to keep Florida’s elections fair and secure. The Governor was keen to share the headlines in a post on Twitter:

Source: Twitter

No more ‘Zuckerbucks’

Amongst the provisions of the law, are the creation of an Office of Election Crimes and Security — what has been dubbed the governor’s private police force to oversee allegations of fraud. Also included within the bill is a prohibition on Election Supervisors being able to receive so-called ‘Zuckerbucks’.

Zuckerbucks refers to private grants and funding donated by private entities to assist with the costs of holding elections, which are usually borne by cities and counties.

When various U.S. counties were struggling to meet the costs of running the 2020 election, the Center for Tech and Civic Life distributed $350 million in grants to struggling counties. The Center for Tech and Civic Life is funded by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, whose primary funding comes from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan.

Various Republican states have since banned private funding for future elections, including Florida.

Source: YouTube

Complications to postal voting

One of the unproven allegations quoted by former president Donald Trump in relation to the 2020 election is that a significant factor in the alleged ‘stealing’ of the presidency was unregulated postal voting.

SB 524 introduces further complications and rules to be applied to postal voting that effectively make these votes more difficult to complete and submit. It seems like a backhanded means of discouraging postal votes, targeted at a particular segment of voters who’d rather vote by post or who are only able to do so.

Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash

Critics point out that the measures (which involve submitting votes and identifying materials in a combination of 4 envelopes) may be enough to discourage some voters from submitting their postal votes.

Commenting on the restrictions, Marion County Supervisor of Elections Wesley Wilcox had this to say:

“Getting voters to follow instructions is not easy. If you think they are going to follow the instructions with all these envelopes, you got another thought coming.”

It seems then, that there could be partisan motives behind some of the measures approved in SB524, hindering certain communities who favor a postal vote.

The effects of this legislation on Florida’s elections remains to be seen, but they’re certainly being promoted as a good thing by the DeSantis camp right now.

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