The mainstream media is once again attacking Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) for his response to Hurricane Ian, this time claiming that his efforts to lift voting restrictions for the areas hit hardest by the hurricane are meant to reward Republican voters.
Fox News reports that DeSantis signed an emergency executive order expanding mail-in ballot access and the availability of early voting in counties that were most heavily damaged by the hurricane. The order specifically mentions the counties of Charlotte, Lee, and Sarasota, after “collective feedback of the Supervisors of Elections across the state” determined that these areas needed the most assistance; the accommodations were also made “at the written requests” of county officials.
Subsequently, the Washington Post published an article baselessly accusing DeSantis of making this move for his political benefit, with reporter Lori Rozsa claiming that these three counties are heavily Republican.
“More than 450,000 voters in Lee, Charlotte and Sarasota are registered as Republicans, compared with 265,000 Democrats and nearly 290,000 affiliated with no party,” said Rozsa. “Overall, registered Republicans outnumber Democrats in many, but not all, of the counties damaged by the hurricane.”
Similarly, Gloria Oladipo of The Guardian claimed on Friday that there was “anger” over DeSantis’ assistance to “Republican areas,” saying that “Governor Ron DeSantis has made voting easier in certain Florida counties battered by Hurricane Ian – but only Republican-leaning ones.”
“DeSantis signed an executive order on Thursday that eases voting rules for about 1 million voters in Lee, Charlotte and Sarasota counties,” Oladipo continued. “All areas that Hurricane Ian hit hard and that all reliably vote Republican.”
Other pundits who attacked DeSantis’ actions include far-left MSNBC hosts Mehdi Hasan and Joy Reid. Hasan accused DeSantis of “hypocrisy,” while Reid falsely claimed that DeSantis had “failed the people of Lee and neighboring counties by not pushing for an evacuation in time to save their lives,” and that he was now “piecing through the map, making post-disaster voting easier ONLY for Republicans.”
DeSantis’s executive order allows residents to make requests by phone to have their mail-in ballots sent to a new address due to the destruction of their homes. In addition, the order increases the pool of eligible poll workers and expands the early voting period to a new start date of October 24th, which continues through Election Day on November 8th.