“I guess I’m going to say something that is going to get me in trouble, in that it’s not as bad as the critics say it is,” Caputo said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Friday. He pinpointed a few of the areas he said may be problematic, but adds that some of the restrictions were “minor” and that many were already in place in the Sunshine State. Ultimately, Caputo said, he’s “glad” he’s a Florida voter.
“There are more restrictions on what some people call ballot harvesting, which is when other people can drop off your ballot,” Caputo noted. “Now I’m in Miami-Dade county. Incidentally, we’re the biggest county in the state. We already have some of those restrictions in place anyway. And in the end, what you have here was a solution in search of a problem.”
“And, you know, I can say that I’m glad I do live in Florida as far as voting, because we have 30 days of voting by mail still. Most states don’t have that,” he added. “We have eight days of in-person early voting before Election Day, as a minimum! Here in Miami-Dade county, we’ve got 14 days of that. And then you’ve got Election Day voting.”
Caputo’s take, as he hinted at, is at odds with how many pundits and progressives are framing the new legislation, signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis, a popular media punching bag, on Thursday. Washington Post national correspondent Philip Bump tweeted that despite what supporters say, the bill “is restrictive.”
On Thursday, CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota zeroed in on the new law’s extra security measure for drop boxes, wondering what other possible reason there could be for that change besides “intimidation.” Her guest, former Republican Florida state Sen. Alan Hays, said he couldn’t think of any. Unlike Caputo, Hays argued that the drop box edit was anything but minor, and he expressed outrage that those drop boxes “would now have to be monitored at all hours.”
Further, CNN.com filed their report on the new Florida law under the category “Voting rights under attack.” And on Friday, the outlet published a “fact check” with a description that read, “On Thursday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an elections bill that makes it more difficult to vote.”
Gov. DeSantis, however, said the new bill is helping to protect the state’s election integrity.
“I have what we think is the strongest election integrity measures in the country,” DeSantis said on “Fox & Friends” Thursday. “We’re making sure we’re enforcing voter ID…We’re also banning ballot harvesting. We’re not gonna let political operatives go and get satchels of votes to dump them in some drop box.”
The states of Texas and Georgia have also recently come under fire for forwarding new voting measures. The Georgia bill, which was signed into law by Gov. Brian Kemp in March, was condemned by some critics as “Jim Crow 2.0” for supposedly suppressing minorities’ voting rights. Kemp and other supporters of the law have adamantly refuted that charge.
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