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VOLUSIA VOTES! — The winning design for the "I Voted" sticker contest conducted by the Volusia County Supervisor of Elections Office. This design was made by DeBary resident Erin Maciejewski. "I voted" stickers passed out during the 2022 election cycle will feature Maciejewski's design.

PHOTO COURTESY VOLUSIA COUNTY SUPERVISOR OF ELECTIONS OFFICE

" title="VOLUSIA VOTES! — The winning design for the "I Voted" sticker contest conducted by the Volusia County Supervisor of Elections Office. This design was made by DeBary resident Erin Maciejewski. "I voted" stickers passed out during the 2022 election cycle will feature Maciejewski's design.PHOTO COURTESY VOLUSIA COUNTY SUPERVISOR OF ELECTIONS OFFICE"/>

Editor, The Beacon:

Gov. Ron DeSantis likes to portray himself as a defender of freedom in Florida. But nothing could be further from the truth. Threatening them with fines, DeSantis dictated to private businesses how they should run their operations. He forbade cruise lines from requiring COVID vaccines prior to boarding ships, where we know disease spreads easily and efficiently. Businesses have a right and a need to protect their employees and clients from a deadly pandemic. The governors’ action was in complete opposition to the conservative philosophy of free enterprise.

When the Disney company expressed opposition to the “Don’t Say Gay” law, which they are entitled to do under the First Amendment, what did the governor do? He misused his executive powers to lash out against one of Florida’s biggest private employers to retract their unique tax arrangement where Disney foots the bill for roads, fire stations and other public services within their sphere, instead of Orange and Osceola taxpayers. In the long run, it may penalize the local taxpayers.

Most egregiously, DeSantis has declared himself the authority when it comes to a person’s privacy and self-autonomy by signing the Legislature’s bill to outlaw abortion, currently at 15 weeks, and he will probably pursue an outright ban after the election if he wins. Part of the problem with this is that you shouldn’t put an arbitrary number like six weeks or 15 weeks on when abortion care can be cut off. A great many complications occur later than that even in planned-for pregnancies. Secondly, freedom, especially over one’s own body, means not having to acquiesce to an authoritarian leader’s personal, political or religious beliefs.

DeSantis is not about freedom. He is cynical, disingenuous and a dangerous autocrat.

Nancy J La Riviere

DeLand

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