After Georgia went blue in both the presidential election and in two key Senate seats delivering Democrats a razor-thin majority, the state's Republican legislature passed a slate of voting rights restrictions limiting access to absentee ballots and ballot drop box locations.
The legislation, which was signed into law earlier this month, faced widespread backlash especially for a provision that effectively forbids anyone from providing food or water for voters in long lines.
Despite the national outcry Georgia's bill prompted, it's since inspired the state of Florida—which went red in the 2020 presidential election.
H.B. 7041, a bill introduced last week by Florida Republicans, would expand existing laws prohibiting campaigning within 100 feet of a polling place to forbid the giving of "any item" to any voter within 150 feet, defining such as "solicitation."
It's an all too familiar sight in U.S. elections for voters to be stuck waiting for hours in line, usually due to a lack of polling places. Limits on giving sustenance to voters in these lines, many of whom are elderly, could force Americans to choose between exercising their right to vote or remaining safely hydrated.
After former President Donald Trump's constant lies about the validity of the 2020 election, Republicans insist that the United States needs expanded "election security" measures, though no evidence of widespread voter fraud exists. Critics say Republicans are using election security as a facade to limit access of likely-Democratic voters to the ballot box.
This latest development in Florida saw similar outcry.
It appears that Florida Republicans have looked at the outrage aimed at Georgia’s suppression law with envy rather… https://t.co/j1UE4kWtcd— Marc E. Elias (@Marc E. Elias) 1617051761.0
This. Right. Here. This cannot be allowed to happen in Florida. https://t.co/AXCvIRJrUQ— Checksandbalances (@Checksandbalances) 1617049238.0
No end to it: Florida Republicans are now considering a measure that would restrict passing food and drinks to peop… https://t.co/2vxq7lBBUY— Greg Sargent (@Greg Sargent) 1617049868.0
Florida Republicans trying to keep up with Georgia GOP in the race to disenfranchise the most voters. I assume the… https://t.co/Pa0ZSdtyVy— Andrew Gillum (@Andrew Gillum) 1617047367.0
The more power expands, the tighter they will try to grip it. We broke chains. Shaky hands should be no problem.… https://t.co/8VmkGx4hQC— @tiffanydcross (@@tiffanydcross) 1617047942.0
Florida Republicans and Georgia Republicans are trying to compete for worst represents in the country. Please Flori… https://t.co/EfPYmsPD6R— Alfredo Montanez🌊🗽💛🇺🇲 (@Alfredo Montanez🌊🗽💛🇺🇲) 1617053138.0
People have long been sounding the alarm on the Republican party's attempts to suppress the vote.
43 states. 253 bills. Republicans want to silence Americans at the ballot box. President Joe Biden has it right, t… https://t.co/1sOCXZqVYS— Nikki Fried (@Nikki Fried) 1616787548.0
Not since the years just before the Civil War has the clash between the nation’s two major parties so clearly defin… https://t.co/DUIwWXN8L4— Robert Reich (@Robert Reich) 1616963294.0
The Republicans stand for nothing. They know the only way they can win is to keep us from voting. We will not let t… https://t.co/aIWTeZCNtv— Rob Reiner (@Rob Reiner) 1616773285.0
The Senate is currently considering the For The People Act—a landmark voting rights bill that would expand access to the ballot box across the nation, but with the 60 vote threshold imposed by the Senate filibuster, it's unclear how it could possibly pass.