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DeSantis announces proposals to strengthen 'election integrity,' says flags will be lowered for Rush Limbaugh

DeSantis announces proposals to strengthen 'election integrity,' says flags will be lowered for Rush Limbaugh
Posted at 10:42 AM, Feb 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-19 10:50:50-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (WTXL) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Friday that flags will soon be lowered to half-staff for Rush Limbaugh.

At Hilton Airport Palm Beach in West Palm Beach, DeSantis said he would order the lowering of flags to half-staff when funeral arrangements for Rush Limbaugh are announced. The conservative radio host and Florida resident died of complications from lung cancer earlier this week.

His announcement was met with cheers from a mostly maskless crowd.

DeSantis also announced several proposals on election system changes in Florida, while praising the integrity of elections in the state in the last election cycle.

"There's no state where your vote matters more than the state of Florida," DeSantis said. "There's no state with more voting transparency than the state of Florida."

The governor's proposals are related to election security and he specifically called on the state legislature to address and stop so-called "ballot harvesting," ensure absentee ballots are sent by request only, and increase monitoring of ballot drop boxes.

"We're not going to do mass mailing of ballots," DeSantis said. "It doesn't work. I think it creates a lot of hazards, a lot of problems."

The proposed legislation would include the following measures:

Ballot Integrity

  • Address the use of ballot drop boxes.
  • Address ballot harvesting so that no person may possess ballots other than their own and their immediate family.
  • No mass mailing of vote-by-mail ballots—only voters who request a ballot should receive a ballot.
  • Vote-by-mail requests must be made each election year.
  • Vote by mail ballot signatures must match the most recent signature on file.

Transparency in the Elections Process

  • Political parties and candidates cannot be shut out from observing the signature matching process.
  • Supervisors of Elections must post over-vote ballots to be considered by the canvassing board on their website before the canvassing board meets.
  • Prohibits counties from receiving grants from private third-party organizations for “get out the vote” initiatives.

Transparency in Elections Reporting

  • Requires real-time reporting of voter turnout data at the precinct level.
  • Supervisors of Elections must report how many ballots have been requested, how many have been received, and how many are left to be counted.

The governor also addressed COVID-19, again touting the number of seniors the state has vaccinated and calling out other state's for their stringent COVID-19 restrictions.

“This country needs to move forward," DeSantis said. "Florida has shown these lockdowns don’t work.”

DeSantis touched on any potential travel bans being levied in Florida saying, he won't let Joe Biden quarantine Florida or ban any travel to or from Florida.

The full press conference was streamed on ABC 27's Facebook page. Watch the full conference below.