Last week, the Florida legislature became the latest red state to pass new, restrictive legislation which severely restricts the way Floridians will cast a ballot in future elections, with Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signing the bills as he kicks off his own reelection effort and also seeks to be the 2024 GOP presidential nominee.
But many Republicans in the Sunshine State believe state lawmakers may have just doomed their chances of holding control of the state, according to a report from the Washington Post:
“Some Florida Republicans are reacting with alarm after the GOP-dominated state legislature, with DeSantis’s support, passed a far-reaching bill Thursday night that puts new restrictions on the use of mail ballots.
“Not only are GOP lawmakers reversing statutes that their own predecessors put in place, but they are also curtailing a practice that millions of state Republicans use, despite former president Donald Trump’s relentless and baseless claims that it invites fraud.”
In a state with as many senior citizens as Florida has, the absentee ballot is key because it allows voters who cannot or will not vote in person the right to participate from the privacy of their own home. But the new legislation DeSantis signed may destroy decades of GOP efforts to encourage their voters to feel comfortable with mail ballots:
The potential fallout in the key swing state illustrates how the Republican Party is hurting itself in its rush to echo Trump’s false allegations, they said.
“Donald Trump attempted to ruin a perfectly safe and trusted method of voting,” said one longtime Republican consultant in the state who spoke on the condition of anonymity to offer a candid assessment.
“The main law that we pass when we pass election bills in Florida is the law of unintended consequences,” he said. Now, he added, the GOP must live with the result.
One of the main reasons Florida and other states such as Georgia have moved to curb making it easy to vote: The loser of the 2020 presidential race, Donald Trump, who tweeted out suggestions that mail-in voting would be the end of the democratic process in the United States:
“MAIL-IN VOTING WILL LEAD TO MASSIVE FRAUD AND ABUSE,” the president tweeted on May 28, one of dozens of such attacks that he unleashed throughout the year. “IT WILL ALSO LEAD TO THE END OF OUR GREAT REPUBLICAN PARTY. WE CAN NEVER LET THIS TRAGEDY BEFALL OUR NATION.”
Those attacks on the process used by so many Floridians led directly to the new voting restrictions, and that’s very bad news for the Florida GOP, according to Steve Schale, a Democratic consultant in Florida:
“It was comical to watch Trump light on fire 20 years of Republican work and tens of millions of Republican investment — literally lighting a match to it. Every time he sent a tweet out, I’d get a text from a Republican operative here in Florida with an eye-roll emoji.”
Florida Republicans may have just cut off their collective nose just to please a man who is no longer the least bit relevant and will likely never get anywhere near the White House again,
Featured Image Via NBC News