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Florida House passes GOP-backed bill on voting restrictions

"We are now focusing on making sure that every vote is a valid vote," said GOP state Rep. Wyman Duggan.

Updated: April 29, 2021 - 10:30am

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The GOP-controlled Florida House has passed its version of a voting reform measure that supporters say will ensure all votes are correctly counted, following concerns after the 2020 elections about the security of elections systems across the country.

The bill passed Wednesday along party lines and returns to the Senate for a potential final vote.

The bill adds new identification and signature requirements to vote by mail, limits who can return a completed mail-in-ballot, and requiring voters to submit requests for mail-in-ballots annually, in an attempt by Republicans to ensure election integrity, according to CNN.

"We are now focusing on making sure that every vote is a valid vote," state Rep. Wyman Duggan said.

If the measure passes the Senate and is signed into law by GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis, residents also will be prohibited from giving items to voters within 150 feet of the polling stations. Republicans argue the provision is to stop outside groups from influencing voters as they vote.

Other states with Republican-controlled legislatures this year have either passed or are trying to pass voter integrity laws, including Georgia, which in March passed one the most comprehensive such laws.

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