ST. PETERSBURG, Fla — A bill proposed by Sen. Rick Scott would require a 24-hour turnaround time from when polls close on election night, to when a state is required to both count and report all ballots.
But, that’s just part of it. It also looks to “establish uniform standards for vote-by-mail systems across the country and ensure the timely and efficient counting of ballots, with important safeguards to prevent fraud.”
In a release, Scott said he introduced the bill due to the “patchwork” of state laws that currently govern mail-based absentee voting in federal elections, the increase in use of mail-in ballots during the pandemic and in an effort to avoid “prolonged uncertainty” in learning federal election outcomes.
“Voting is fundamental to our democracy and it is a sacred right that we must protect and cherish. I always say we need 100-percent participation and zero-percent fraud in our elections. Florida has absentee voting and it works well. But the standards for mail-in voting vary widely across the country, causing confusion and a distrust in the system,” Scott said, in part before calling for the immediate passing of the bill.
Scott's bill also calls for mail-in ballots to be requested at least 21 days before a federal election and several safeguards to ensure voter identity is confirmed, recorded to avoid in-person double-ups and comes with proof a voter is who they say they are.
Here are some other requirements from the Republican leaders’ proposed bill you should know if it passes:
- Prohibits the possession of another person’s mail-in ballot, with limited exceptions for immediate family members and caregivers
- Voter rolls provided to physical polling locations must identify which registered voters received a mail-in ballot to enable poll workers to inquire about the mail-in ballot if the individual appears in-person to vote
- Requires voting precincts to report the total number of in-person and mail-in ballots received one hour after polls close to identify the total universe of votes to be counted in the election
You can read more about the bill here.
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