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Florida’s Voter Restriction Bill

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Although the Republican party dominates Florida and Trump won the state in 2020, the Republicans in the state legislature passed an election bill aimed at reducing voting access. From the standpoint of keeping power, this is a smart move: Republican voters are a numerical minority and would find their hold on power eroding if they did not resort to voter suppression, gerrymandering and other anti-democratic strategies. Since I believe in democracy, I oppose these efforts. It might be tempting to “refute” me by arguing that the Democrats would do the same thing if they were in the predicament of lagging in popular support. My response is that I oppose all anti-democratic efforts—even those undertaken by the Democrats. Fortunately, the Democrats generally do not need to use these methods—they are more likely to win by democratic means. Now, on to the discussion of this bill. Republicans typically claim to favor small government. I also profess to favor minimal government and have argued in other essays that the state should restrict its laws to cases in which the harm needs to be addressed by law and the good the law does meaningfully outweigh any harms or costs of the law. This leads to the matter of whether this bill addresses a meaningful harm. The Republicans are claiming that the bill is needed to make Florida elections more secure. The obvious problem with this claim is that the 2020 was secure. After the shameful debacle of 2000, Florida took many effective steps to improve the election system and 2020 went very well with no significant issues. There is, of course, the big lie of widespread election fraud—a claim that has been refuted at every turn. As such, there is no actual problem that needs to be addressed. In a way, this makes sense—the proposals are generally not aimed at addressing security concerns but with making it more difficult to vote. To illustrate, the bill limits the use of drop boxes and requires voters to request and absentee ballot for each. . .

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News source: A Philosopher's Blog

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