Republicans on Monday appeared to soundly defeat a Democratic-led legal effort to force taxpayers in Florida to fund mail-in ballot postage fees, eliminate ballot-return deadlines and strike down laws restricting the practice of “ballot harvesting” – which allows political operatives to retrieve vote-by-mail ballots en masse and return them to polling places.
The Democratic super PAC Priorities USA had sued the Republican Party and GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis, but agreed to a settlement that dismissed the case just before trial was set to begin on Monday. The agreement includes provisions to educate voters about how to register to vote and cast mail-in ballots, while also educating election supervisors about prepaid postage.
“Even under normal circumstances, Florida’s Vote-By-Mail Postage Requirement, which dictates that voters pay for the postage necessary to mail their vote-by-mail ballot unless individual counties choose to take on that burden for them, significantly increases the monetary and transaction costs associated with voting,” the Democrats’ original complaint read. “Not only must a mail voter pay for postage to vote, but they also must acquire the postage, which, in this digital age when many people do not keep stamps at home, often requires a trip to the post office or other essential business.”