New vote-by-mail changes might mean fewer Floridians use the ballots
A new Florida elections law now requires you to register to vote-by-mail every two years rather than every four years.
Standing requests to vote-by-mail were expunged in December in Florida under SB 90.
The new law requires residents to request a vote-by-mail ballot every general election cycle. That means requests are good for two years, instead of four.
UCF political science professor Aubrey Jewett said this latest move will likely lessen the number of people voting by mail in the next election.
“So we went from like, a file of 4 million plus people to a file of zero people, right. So all that to say, the shorter way of saying that is absolutely it's going to have an impact," said Jewett. "We're going to see less people voting by mail almost certainly.”
Jewett said political scientists have a simple rule they follow: the harder you make voting, the less people will do of it.
"And so if you just put up even mild barriers, such as saying ok now you’ve got to make that request every two years instead of every four, there’s going to be some people who just don’t do it. And don’t realize they need to do it," said Jewett.
Vote-by-mail requests must be made at least ten days before an election.
During the last general election in 2022, 2.7 million Floridians voted by mail.
Another new Florida elections law, SB 7050 has changed the way voter registration groups can help people register for elections. There are $50,000 dollar fines in place now if noncitizens help people register to vote.
Copyright 2023 WMFE. To see more, visit WMFE.