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Get the latest coverage of the 2024 Florida legislative session in Tallahassee from our coverage partners and WUSF.

Florida Senate president opposes a bill proposing mail voting changes

Kathleen Passidomo smiling during a meeting
Colin Hackley
News Service of Florida
Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, led efforts to pass a bill to address affordable housing.

The bill would allow mail voting for only certain groups, such as people who would be absent from home counties, people with illnesses or disabilities that prevent them from going to polls and members of the military overseas.

Casting doubt on the bill’s future, Senate President Kathleen Passidomo on Tuesday voiced opposition to a proposal that would scale back voting by mail.

Asked by a reporter if she agreed with the proposal (SB 1752) by Sen. Blaise Ingoglia, R-Spring Hill, Passidomo simply replied, “No.” The Naples Republican said many seniors in her district prefer voting by mail.

Ingoglia’s proposal would allow voting by mail only for certain groups, such as people who would be absent from their home counties, people who have illnesses or disabilities that prevent them from going to polling places and members of the military stationed overseas. Also, it would require that vote-by-mail ballots be requested for each election and would limit where ballots can be dropped off to elections supervisors’ main and branch offices.

Republican lawmakers in the past advanced voting by mail but started to reverse course after former President Donald Trump raised questions about the process. Political and legal battles about voting by mail have repeatedly flared after the method was heavily used during the 2020 election --- particularly by Democrats.

“I just think that the way we are going about this right now, the safest way to do it (vote) is in person,” Ingoglia said Monday. “I understand where it came from. So, if I’m at odds with some Republicans, that is nothing new.”

Ingoglia, a former Republican Party of Florida chairman, noted his proposal would also expand in-person early voting at designated polling sites. Mail-in ballots currently can be returned to early-voting sites.