Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed an emergency executive order last week that helps voters in areas that were heavily damaged by Hurricane Ian. The counties most affected, Charlotte, Lee and Sarasota, have Republican majorities.
The order extends the start date for early voting to October 24. It also expands mail-in ballot access by allowing voters to have a ballot sent to a new address rather than their home address because people had to move out of their homes.
The media have gone apoplectic, saying this is an unfair advantage. In Charlotte County, 62% of the vote went for Trump in 2020, while 59% voted for the ‘orange man’ in Lee County. The margin in Sarasota County was tighter at 54%. Neighboring Orange County, which was hit hard by flooding, leans Democrat, but it gets no help from the order.
Gloria Oladipo, a reporter for The Guardian, published a piece on Friday to whip up anger at the DeSantis provision.
“Governor Ron DeSantis has made voting easier in certain Florida counties battered by Hurricane Ian – but only Republican-leaning ones,” whined Oladipo. “DeSantis signed an executive order on Thursday that eases voting rules for about 1 million voters in Lee, Charlotte and Sarasota counties, all areas that Hurricane Ian hit hard and that all reliably vote Republican. Meanwhile, Orange County, a Democratic-leaning area which experienced historic flooding from the storm, received no voting exceptions.”
Lori Rozsa of The Washington Post was angry, too.
“More than 450,000 voters in Lee, Charlotte and Sarasota are registered as Republicans, compared with 265,000 Democrats and nearly 290,000 affiliated with no party,” she reported. “Overall, registered Republicans outnumber Democrats in many, but not all, of the counties damaged by the hurricane. Orange County, where Hurricane Ian passed as a Category 1 storm and left historic flooding in Orlando and surrounding areas, has 360,389 registered Democrats and 217,061 registered Republicans. It was not granted any exceptions.”
The emergency order was made after “collective feedback of the Supervisors of Elections across the state” and “at the written requests” of these counties’ election supervisors. It will assist tens of thousands of displaced citizens in these counties. But some attacked the order, saying it was politically motivated.
The voting access part of the emergency provision (advancing the starting date for voting) does not appear to subvert Florida law. Florida guidelines dictate that early voting “may start” Oct 24 and that it “must start” by Oct 29. Most of the state will begin voting on the latter date, while these hurricane-ravaged counties will begin on the earlier date.
More outlets complained:
- NPR – “Donald Trump won 62%, 59% and 54% of the vote in Charlotte, Lee and Sarasota counties, respectively.”
- ABC News – “Southwest Florida leans Republican, with the counties of Lee, Charlotte and Sarasota delivering wins for DeSantis and Trump in their last general elections” while “Lee County voted for Trump in 2020 by nearly 20 percentage points over President Joe Biden.”
- Politico – “The three counties covered by DeSantis’s executive order are home to more than 1 million active registered voters, with more than 450,000 of them registered as Republicans. Lee County provided a 62,000-vote margin to DeSantis in the 2018 election when he barely edged Democratic nominee Andrew Gillum,”
- PBS – “Nothing to see here… move along.”
Mehdi Hasan at MSNBC, hyperventilating about the stricter voting guidelines DeSantis pushed for last year, only to ease restrictions now in Republican areas, tweeted, “The hypocrisy is as astonishingly brazen as it is astonishingly galling.”
The hypocrisy is as astonishingly brazen as it is astonishingly galling https://t.co/TXXtHcL1uw
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) October 15, 2022
Note that Hasan finds both the brazenness and the gall of DeSantis’s hypocrisy to be astonishing. Poor thing.
Washington Post reporter Azi Paybarah seems to agree with Hasan.
“Some of the accommodations being offered run counter to recently enacted voting laws pushed by DeSantis and passed by the GOP-led state legislature,” said Paybarah.
Racist Democrat Joy Reid went off, too.
It should surprise no one that @RonDeSantisFL, after failing the people of Lee and neighboring counties by not pushing for an evacuation in time to save their lives & homes from hurricane Ian is now piecing through the map, making post-disaster voting easier ONLY for Republicans. https://t.co/FOsaaPAvnC
— Joy-Ann (Pro-Democracy) Reid 😷 (@JoyAnnReid) October 15, 2022
DONATE TO BIZPAC REVIEW
- Run elections like Florida! Jesse Watters’ post-midterm takeaways - November 10, 2022
- Righteous outrage builds over Arizona’s ‘national disgrace’ of a voting process - November 10, 2022
- Larry Sabato’s famous ‘Crystal Ball’ election predictions released, and it’s good news for the GOP - November 8, 2022