Hours after filing federal paperwork declaring that he was running for president — and shortly before his plan for a Twitter livestream to launch his campaign went haywire — Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a Florida elections bill that cleared a potential hurdle.
Florida’s so-called resign-to-run statute could have compelled Mr. DeSantis to resign after he sought the presidency, even though the legal questions surrounding the rule have never been fully settled.
But state lawmakers clarified the law’s language late last month so that it no longer applies to elected officials running for president or vice president. Democrats accused Republicans in Tallahassee of doing a favor for the governor, though with Republican supermajorities controlling both chambers, there was little they could do to stop the measure. Republicans said the old law was vague, and legal experts were divided about whether it would have applied to Mr. DeSantis.
The change to the resign-to-run statute was included in a broader elections bill. It also contains provisions restricting how third-party groups can register voters.
Voting rights groups have criticized the bill. The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida said it would hurt voter-registration organizations “by dramatically increasing fines, implementing shorter deadlines on voter registration forms, and restricting who can assist with voter registration drives,” with a particular effect on efforts to sign up voters of color.
Reflecting his now dual roles as presidential candidate and governor, Mr. DeSantis spent the morning in Tallahassee hearing clemency requests from people convicted of felonies. At 6 p.m. Eastern, he is expected to go on Twitter and join Elon Musk, the platform’s billionaire owner, to discuss his candidacy.
(With inputs from NYTimes)
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