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Corporations caught in middle of Florida election debate

Published: Apr. 12, 2021 at 4:13 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CNS) - Florida Corporations are being asked to get involved in the debate over making changes to Florida’s elections laws, but the governor and others are telling them to stay in their own lane.

Ballot drop boxes would be banned under the draft legislation.

Long standing requests for mail ballots would be shortened to the current election cycle and only the voter or immediate family can lawfully possess a vote-by-mail ballot.

“We have the votes,” said Senate sponsor Dennis Baxley.

The legislation was supposed to come up last week, but was postponed because of so much interest.

“We want to get it right, and we’re trying to be responsive to those critics that have submitted things,” said Baxley.

Now, a state representative is calling on Florida corporations to make their voices heard.

“I think we can learn a lot from what is happening in Georgia, and look at the way the corporations are taking on the issue there and ask for corporations in Florida to exhibit the same sort of responsibility,” said Representative Fentrice Driskell.

The House sponsor has now softened the ban on handing out food and water to a voter within 150 of the polling place.

It now says you can’t hand out anything if it’s an attempt to influence the voter.

The Black Lives Matter Fund has joined those calling for corporations to fight the legislation.

The fund paid for a full page ad over the weekend calling the legislation “Jim Crow 2.0.″

“Intimidating policy makers with extortionary attempts and those kinds of messages I don’t think is productive,” said Baxley.

And on Monday, the governor said corporations can talk taxes and regulations all they want.

“But when they get involved in elections legislation or things that do not concern their business or their operations, to me, that is interfering in the political process,” said DeSantis.

The legislation is back on the calendar for Wednesday morning.

Six amendments from Democrats are already pending.

If the legislation is approved Wednesday morning, its next stop will be the floor of the Senate, where it could be heard this week or next.

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