Conflicts between the two major parties in the US have been steadily increasing over the question of whether to expand or limit the franchise. On the same day, President Joe Biden, in his speech in a joint session of Congress (Parliament), advocated broadening the franchise, Florida became the new state where the Republican-majority legislature passed a bill limiting the franchise.
Florida’s bill will now go to Governor Ron DeSantis for arraignment. DeSantis also belongs to the Republican Party.
His spokesman told a TV channel on Thursday that the governor supported the proposed new law. The spokesman said- “With the new law coming into effect, the state of Florida will continue to be the leader in the entire nation in ensuring the safety, reliability and transparency of elections.”
Many of Florida’s first Republican Party-majority states have enacted such legislation. Significantly, the result of the last presidential election was refused by the then Republican President Donald Trump. Republican-ruled states have enacted new laws regarding Trump’s voting complaints.
In the last March, such a law was made in the state of Georgia, which led to a big controversy. These laws generally have provisions to make it difficult to vote ahead of time or by post. Georgia law makes it a crime to give food or water to people standing in line to vote.
Opponents of laws enacted in Republican-majority states say they will make it more difficult for poor and minority communities to vote. Florida law provides for the identification of the person who casts the ballot in the drop box. In the US it is usually difficult for poor and minority communities to obtain an identity card.
Florida’s proposed law makes it a crime to provide voters with an area within 150 feet of a polling station that is considered an attempt to influence voting. New limits have also been placed on who can bring the ballot paper of non-spot voters.
Members of the Republican Party in both houses of Florida’s legislature voted in favor of the bill. At the same time, members of the Democratic Party voted against it.
In a conversation with the newspaper Washington Post, Democratic Party Senator Janet Cruz from the state has criticized Governor DeSantis’s role in the case. He said – The governor had praised Florida’s record in the first election case and described it as the gold standard. But later he got involved with the story of his party and started claiming without any proof that there were disturbances in the last election as well.
Kruj said– ‘The view is that if you cannot win by bringing in better candidates, then ensure your victory by making voting difficult for the other party.’
Since the presidential election in November 2020, the Republican Party has introduced 361 bills to toughen the franchise in 47 states of the country. In states where this party has a majority, the party has shown great speed in passing the bill for this purpose.
On the other hand, in the House of Representatives, the lower house of the Congress, a bill has been passed to neutralize the measures limiting the franchise. The Democratic Party has a majority in this House. But the bill is unlikely to pass in the Senate, the upper house of Congress, because the Democratic Party does not have the necessary votes there.
Robert Rick, professor of public policy at the University of California, has written on the ongoing controversy over the franchise – “If the House-passed bill does not become law, the laws passed in Republican states will come into force before the 2022 parliamentary election.”
This will have the effect that the power of the Republican Party will be ensured there for years. ”Robert Rick has described laws passed in Republican-ruled states as an attempt to move towards dictatorship by limiting democracy