Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis’s signature into law of SB 90, the state’s election integrity statute, has apparently triggered Univision to the point of repeating easily-debunked lies and passing them off as news coverage.
Watch as midday anchor Aylen Del Toro goes back to the well, and insists on framing the law as restrictive:
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signs the controversial SB 90 bill, which seeks to curtail access to voting by mail, as has been proposed by which seeks to curtail access to voting by mail, as has been proposed by other Republican-led, Trump-supporting states- with the baseless election fraud. Now, what does this law consist of? I’ll explain it to you.
They’ll verify your signature, which means that voters must have a signature on file at (their local Supervisor of Elections office). Now, those who want to vote by mail must request their ballot each election cycle. It creates limits upon who can collect and return a voter’s ballot. It bars private financing of elections, and expands partisan observer power during the counting of the ballots in particular. On the other hand, it restricts the use of dropboxes during the early voting period, which used to be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The report was basically a remix of the previous report on SB 90, but with an extended intro that made sure to check off all the scary boxes: “Republican-led, Trump-supporting states”, with some Capitol riot thrown in for good measure. Completely absent from the report: any context or statement from DeSantis or other supporter of the legislation. After all, the governor’s signing ceremony had just aired on Fox a couple of hours prior. Univision could’ve very easily grabbed a clip, slapped some subtitles on it and said, “this is what DeSantis says”. We totally expected them to exclude DeSantis’ statement. That’s why we published a subtitled video of DeSantis’ remarks, so Univision’s viewers could see what was left out of the “report” (which reads: In the interest of public service, we’ve subtitled Gov. Ron DeSantis’ statement after his signature of Florida’s election reform bill, given that Univision excluded it while insisting on (falsely) reporting that SB 90 “limits the early vote”.):
En interés del servicio público, subtitulamos las expresiones del @GovRonDeSantis tras firmar la reforma electoral de Florida, ya que @UniNoticias las excluye mientras insiste en reportar (falsamente) que la SB90 “limita el voto adelantado”. pic.twitter.com/qqKYFDd70F
— MRC Latino (@MRCLatino) May 6, 2021
As we began to explain in our previous take on Univision’s misreporting of SB 90, successful framing of election security laws as “restrictive” depends on widespread acceptance of pandemic emergency election measures as the existing norm, with the actual pre-pandemic norm being wiped from memory:
One might think that Florida actually cut down on early voting, given Del Toro’s overly broad frame of Florida’s new dropbox guidelines, which mandate that dropboxes will only be open while staffed by personnel from the county Supervisor of Elections. This is another instance where pandemic exceptions are framed as the norm with which to adversely compare new legislation and falsely frame as restrictive, such as Georgia’s election security law.
Univision’s cries of “restrictive” don’t make it so, no matter how hard they try- and it is a shame that America’s leading Spanish-language network sees the need to resort to the dissemination of outright propaganda and disinformation.
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