Q&A– Are Governor DeSantis’s Election Reform Proposals a good idea? Part 2


Q&A of the Day – Are Governor DeSantis’s Election Reform Proposals a good idea? Part 2

Bottom Line: Harvard’s Election Integrity Project has largely endorsed the election security reforms called for in the 2019 “For the People Act”. The Act failed to pass due to several controversial “voting rights” proposals such as mandatory same day voter registration for federal elections, mandatory early voting for 15 days and automatic voter registration. Otherwise though, on election security specifically, it had several reforms which would have been especially helpful this past cycle. Those include:

  • Mandatory paper backup for ballots
  • Mandatory preservation of ballots for auditing, recounts and public review
  • Mandates all voting machines are made within the United States

When you think about this past cycle, those almost seem prophetic. Clearly there’s a need to federal reforms, but what about what Governor DeSantis has proposed? Do they meet the reforms identified as being needed by the Election Integrity Project? Yes, and then some – save one. Governor DeSantis’s proposal doesn’t mandate voting systems be US manufactured. Now, since Palm Beach County replaced the last Sequoia voting system in the state in 2018, there aren’t any foreign manufactured voting systems currently being used in our state – however including that mandate could prove helpful in the future and his reforms would otherwise boost integrity beyond the proposed 2019 Act. If Florida’s election systems are a 75 out of 100 according to Harvard’s study, the reforms proposed by Governor DeSantis would certainly get us closer to “A” territory. That Florida was the “gold standard” of how to run elections last year with a report card showing we’re only scoring a 75, illustrates just how poor systems are nationally.

Kudos to the governor for realizing that our performance was only relatively impressive and that there’s still work to do to improve election systems and integrity in Florida. The governor’s plan should become legislative reality in the upcoming session while we also advocate for similar federal reforms. It’s a matter of controlling what we can control.

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