Friday on HBO’s Real Time, host Bill Maher told Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis that it looks like Florida is “just trying to stop black people from voting” by going after illegal voting and keeping people like sex offenders and murderers from voting.
Maher said, “[Y]our state voted to restore voting rights to felons. And then, through some political bullsh*t jiu-jitsu, that got undone. … And you’re going after people now –.”
DeSantis cut in to counter that the amendment Florida passed to restore voting rights to felons “did not include murderers and sex offenders. So, we had sex offenders, convicted sex offenders who voted who were not eligible under that amendment, so we held them accountable.”
Maher then said, “But there really isn’t in-person voter fraud. Like 11 million people voted in Florida and I think you found 41 people.”
DeSantis responded, “Right, but if you have somebody that’s illegally in the country and they vote, should they be held accountable or not? I think they should be held accountable.”
After Maher responded that the amount of illegal voting is a small fraction of a percent, DeSantis countered that this may be true on a statewide level, but local elections are a lot smaller and have closer margins, and “I think we want legal people to vote, if you’re not a citizen of this country, you should not be voting in American elections.”
Maher then asked, “Okay, but that’s not the biggest issue we have, is it?” DeSantis answered that no one is saying it’s the biggest issue out there and he deals with all sorts of issues.
Maher then stated, “It looks like you’re just trying to stop black people from voting.”
After DeSantis responded correctly that that assertion is “nonsense,” Maher said, “I don’t think it’s nonsense. Black folks don’t vote for the Republican Party in very big numbers.”
DeSantis countered that he got a higher share of the black vote than other Republicans.