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DeSantis Signs New Elections Law At 'Exclusive' Event, Charlie Crist’s Run for Governor, Live From The 305

Supporters of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Binh Vo, left, and Trang Le, of Orlando, wait in line for his appearance on “Fox & Friends,” Thursday, May 6, 2021, in West Palm Beach.

Governor Ron DeSantis signs Florida's new voting law in a Fox News exclusive, barring other news organizations from the event. Plus, Charlie Crist runs for Governor for the 3rd time. And the surf-noir group Haute Tension in Live from the 305.

On this Thursday, May 6, episode of Sundial,

Governor DeSantis Signs New Voting Bill

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a new voting bill into law Thursday, placing restrictions on vote-by-mail ballots and enhancing voter ID requirements. The governor and his allies argue the changes are necessary to secure Florida’s system of elections.

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Democratic lawmakers see it as an attack on voting rights and have called the legislation Jim Crow 2.0. The law limits the number of ballots that can be brought to a ballot drop off location. Gary Fineout is a reporter with Politico and an author of their Florida Playbook.

“For campaigns that would rely on volunteers to help pick up ballots, I think it definitely could have an impact. The lawsuits that have been filed, they think it's going to affect elderly voters, disabled voters, people who can't normally get out if they have to try to. How are they going to get their ballots? You're still able to mail ballots in. But as we saw with the 2020 election, there was a lot of concern about the postal service and how quickly they could return ballots," Fineout said.

Unless you were watching "Fox and Friends" this morning, you may have missed the announcement. Fox News got exclusive access to the bill signing event in West Palm Beach. All other media outlets were barred from covering the signing.

“I haven't heard him go so far as to call members of the media enemies of the people. But on multiple occasions he has castigated the media and he has gotten very upset with some of the coverage that's come his way," said Fineout. "I think the most notable example is that he was highly critical of a story about Florida's vaccine distribution that appeared on '60 Minutes,' he had an entire press conference where he basically ripped into them."

05-06-2021 SUNDIAL SEG A Voting Bill.mp3

Charlie Crist’s Run for Governor

Democratic U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist is running for governor for the third time. The St. Petersburg congressman has a long history in Florida politics. His first campaign back in 2007, as a Republican, was successful and he was considered widely popular. But Charles Zelden, history and political science professor at Nova Southeastern University, says the Tea Party movement in 2010 forced Crist into a tough spot.

“He made the political calculation to support [President] Obama, support the stimulus. And, boy, did he pay a price for it. Crist was at a rally with him. He hugged him. He talked about how great it was to have all this money," said Zelden. "But there was a backlash against Obama, and the Tea Party came along, and then all of a sudden Crist made the decision to run for Senate as opposed to staying in as governor."

Crist’s run for Senate as an independent and a subsequent run for governor as a Democrat, were unsuccessful. Fineout believes that 2022 could be a different story, depending on which other candidates step into the running.

“There's no doubt there's an element to the party that they [Democrats] really would rather support somebody else. Especially in the progressive end, they're going to probably be looking for a different brand out of the Democrats. But what we can say is, whoever is the nominee, there will be a level of intensity on the Democratic side to vote out DeSantis,” Fineout said.

Other Democrats rumored to be considering a run for governor include Orlando Congresswoman Val Demings and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried. Aside from Crist, no other Democrats have officially announced their candidacy.

05-06-2021 SUNDIAL SEG B Charlie Crist.mp3

Live From The 305

The band Haute Tension is quintessential surf noir. The trio from Miami has been performing in the Magic City for years; their debut self-titled album was named “The Best Local Album 2019” by the Miami New Times. The group is the latest in our Live from the 305 series, celebrating the artists that shape South Florida’s music scene.

We spoke with band members Monica McGivern, Alex Merbouti and Nabedi Osorio late last year.

“I guess being from Miami and seeing all the diversity throughout my life, I've seen the punk rock scene be huge. And then it died out. And then the rave scene was big and then it died out," said Osorio. "And then, you know, there's always been like a hip hop scene. There's always been a Spanish scene. So for me, like, I've always been involved in every aspect of every genre. So I see it as a melting pot."

05-06-2021 SUNDIAL SEG C Haute Tension.mp3

You can watch a video of their song "Unlucky 13" below.

HAUTE TENSION at Haute to Death: Unlucky 13, 2020

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Chris knew he wanted to work in public radio beginning in middle school, as WHYY played in his car rides to and from school in New Jersey. He’s freelanced for All Things Considered and was a desk associate for CBS Radio News in New York City. Most recently, he was producing for Capital Public Radio’s Insight booking guests, conducting research and leading special projects at Sacramento’s NPR affiliate.