In break with Trump, DeSantis says Florida ready for election

Jonathan Levin

Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis said there’s no need to delay November elections in his state after President Donald Trump raised the possibility of doing so nationally.

Trump suggested in a tweet Thursday that the election should be delayed over concerns about in-person voting during the Covid-19 pandemic, saying without evidence that mail-in voting leads to fraud.

“So he asked for the election to be delayed?” DeSantis said to reporters in Merritt Island, appearing surprised. “Well, I don’t think in Florida.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a news conference at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine on Monday, July 27, 2020, in Miami.

DeSantis said Florida’s popular vote-by-mail system works. He noted that voters must first request a ballot, and that he would be more concerned if ballots were mailed to everyone automatically.

Voter fraud is rare in the U.S. DeSantis asserted that it is a serious issue, but one that he thought U.S. attorneys were “on top of.”

“Florida will be in a good spot to go,” he added.

Florida is America’s largest swing state with a critical role in presidential elections, and Floridians request millions of vote-by-mail ballots.

DeSantis rarely disagrees openly with the president, a close ally who supported his election bid. During the Covid-19 pandemic in particular, DeSantis has hewed to White House talking points on the virus and followed Trump’s lead on how to manage the reopening of the economy.