Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a sweeping elections bill into law Thursday at a closed-door event at the Hilton at Palm Beach International Airport.

The measure, which goes into effect immediately, mainly changes rules surrounding mail ballots. It limits when voters can slip their mail ballots into drop boxes to voting hours. It also requires election officials to guard or monitor drop boxes during the hours they are available to voters.

Additionally, the new law aims to curb so-called “ballot harvesting” by blocking anyone from dropping off ballots from more than two people who are not in their immediate family.

The new law comes after Florida had what Republicans praised as a smooth election last year. They claim the rule changes are aimed at preventing potential voter fraud in future elections. Democrats, meanwhile, have blasted the changes as overt voter suppression.

The bill signing event itself drew controversy for the DeSantis administration’s decision to allow Fox News to air it as an exclusive, blocking press from other outlets from entering the event. Some media criticized it as a “secret” bill signing.

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