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DeSantis Shuts Out Reporters as he Signs Florida Voting Restrictions Into Law

  • May 06, 2021

Supporters of Mr. DeSantis gathered inside a Hilton near the airport, donning DeSantis and Trump campaign gear. Before they entered, some people waved Trump-DeSantis and DeSantis 2024 banners, according to photos on social media shared by journalists locked outside the doors.

“Right now, I have what we think is the strongest election integrity measures in the country,” a seated Mr. DeSantis told Fox as a rowdy crowd cheered behind him.

Mr. DeSantis and his predecessors have been known to sign bills, especially controversial ones, in private. Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia, a lower-key politician who has kept Mr. Trump at a relative arm’s length, signed his state’s bill in a conference room in his office, as a Democratic state legislator knocked on the door, demanding to be let in. She was instead arrested and later released.

Giving exclusive access to a cable news network was unusual, if not unprecedented. A reporter from a local CBS station said it was supposed to carry the broadcast feed for other stations, a practice known as pooling, but was also not allowed inside.

Speaking aboard Air Force One en route to Louisiana on Thursday, Karine Jean-Pierre, the deputy White House press secretary, said that the Florida law is “built on a lie” and that the state is moving “in the wrong direction.”

“The 2020 election was one of the most secure elections in American history,” she said. “There’s no legitimate reason to change the rules right now to make it harder to vote.”

Florida is the latest state to pass voter restrictions as Republicans move to reverse gains made by Democrats in Georgia, Arizona and elsewhere. Bills to restrict voting have also been moving through Republican-led legislatures in Arizona and Michigan.

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