Florida Senator Rick Scott — or, as I like to call him, “Senator Skeletor” — has proposed a new bill whose desired effect appears to be to reduce the number of eligible votes.
On Thursday, he proposed the ironically-named Help America Vote Act of 2020 (aren’t they always named ironically now?), which:
- Requires that mail-in ballots be counted within 24 hours of when voting closes on Election Day, and
- Prevents mail-in ballots received before Election Day to NOT BE PROCESSED and COUNTED before Election Day.
This bill drastically cuts the window of time for counting votes down to just over a day. Any votes not counted during this period are simply not counted.
This is a drastic reduction from the the way it is now, where the period to count votes can be weeks, because of advance absentee and mail-in voting. For example,
- In Colorado, where all voting is mail-in, votes can be processed as early as 15 days before Election Day.
- In Florida, Senator Skeletor’s home state (and mine!), votes can be processed as early as 22 days before Election Day.
This runs against a lot of election statutes across the U.S., where federal elections are handled at the local level and subject to local laws.
It’s probably too late to pass this law, as advance and absentee voting has already started, but there’s no reason why Senator Skeletor and company can’t try to get it enacted for the next election.
As to why the Republicans seem to like minimizing the number of votes counted, I present you with some reading material:
- Pew Research Center, October 31, 2018: Conservative Republicans are least supportive of making it easy for everyone to vote
- Mother Jones, January 30, 2019: Mitch McConnell Admits That Republicans Lose When More People Vote
- Washington Post, March 30, 2020: Trump just comes out and says it: The GOP is hurt when it’s easier to vote
- The Guardian, March 30, 2020: Trump says Republicans would ‘never’ be elected again if it was easier to vote
- Business Insider, March 30, 2020: Trump baselessly claimed that expanding voting access would lead to a Republican never being elected in America again
- Vanity Fair, April 3, 2020: Republicans Now Just Admitting They Want Fewer Americans To Vote
- The New Republic, April 5, 2020: The Republican Plot Against Voting Turns Deadly
- Bill Moyers, April 8, 2020: Republicans Admit They Lose When Elections Are Fair and Free
- CNBC, April 8, 2020: Trump slams mail-in voting, says it ‘doesn’t work out well for Republicans’
- Chicago Tribune, April 10, 2020: Trump says mail voting means Republicans would lose every election. Is that true? No.
- The Hill, April 15, 2020: Trump lays bare the Republicans’ mail-in voting hypocrisy
- NPR, June 12, 2020: Voting And Elections Divide Republicans And Democrats Like Little Else. Here’s Why
- Esquire, September 25, 2020: Why Won’t Florida Leave Our Elections Alone?