Ron DeSantis personally had his ballot tossed once because of strict voting laws: report

Ron DeSantis personally had his ballot tossed once because of strict voting laws: report
Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

U.S. Congressman Ron DeSantis of Florida speaking at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland.

As Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) works with Republican lawmakers to pass more restrictive voting laws, his own 2016 election mishap is resurfacing amid the latest controversy.

According to NBC Miami, the Republican governor had his own ballot tossed out when he cast his vote by mail for Florida's 2016 primary election. Flagler County elections officials reportedly flagged the then-congressman's ballot and labeled the signatures as a mismatch.

When DeSantis contacted the canvassing board and provided a new signature, the board did not budge. In fact, they "determined that handwriting also had "no similarities" to the signature on DeSantis' ballot and rejected the vote," Flagler County elections officials confirmed.

Now, DeSantis is being questioned about why the signatures did not match but reportedly continues to decline to comment on the matter, according to NBCLX.

The publication also highlights the contradictions in DeSantis' actions in comparison to the proposed bills he and Republican lawmakers are hoping to sign into law. Like many other Republican lawmakers in various states, Florida Republicans are targeting mail-in voting as they work to implement restrictive measures to make it more difficult to vote. But despite their efforts, public records reportedly show that DeSantis often utilized many of the very voting practices he's now aiming to prohibit:

DeSantis' public voting history – obtained through public records requests from the St. Johns and Flagler supervisors of elections – shows he regularly took advantage of Florida's no-excuse absentee option, casting votes by mail in six out of seven elections between March 2016 and August 2020. The only time he voted in-person during that period was at a well-choreographed photo opportunity, when he appeared atop the ballot during his 2018 gubernatorial run.

The proposed voting reforms in Florida have even left some Republicans baffled. Pasco Co. Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley, also a Republican, shared his reaction to the proposed voting and election reforms.

"I was perplexed, disappointed, and confused," said Corley. "Florida was held up as the model of (election) success. State leaders took victory laps after the election."

He added, "I'm not really sure the 'why' of these measures. Voters love dropboxes. There were no issues in Florida with dropboxes…nobody can really address the legitimate reason why we're doing this…there are so many safeguards in place."

Florida lawmakers have joined Republicans nationwide in their push to pass restrictive voting laws. Since last year, Republican lawmakers have proposed more than 240 voting bills nationwide.

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