DeSantis signs bill creating first-of-its-kind “election police force” to crack down on voter fraud in the Sunshine State: The Published Reporter®

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, had proposed the task force in response to pressure from some in the GOP to conduct an audit of Florida’s 2020 presidential election, even though former President Donald Trump won handily. the state. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Media Center.

TALLAHASSEE, FL – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law Monday creating an election police force, one of the first of its kind in the nation, whose duties will include cracking down on voter fraud in the state of the sun.

DeSantis, a Republican, had proposed the task force in response to pressure from some in the GOP to conduct an audit of Florida’s 2020 presidential election, even though former President Donald Trump handily won the state.

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“I don’t think there is any other place in the country where you should have more confidence that your vote counts than in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said at a news conference Monday before signing the bill into law.


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The law will contemplate the creation of a “Office of Electoral Crimes and Security” at the Department of State, in addition to recruiting investigators from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The budget for the Bureau of Election Crimes and Security is currently set at $2.6 million, which will pay salaries for 26 positions spread across the two agencies.


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In addition, other parts of the bill have made “gathering votes” – the collection and submission of completed absentee or mail-in ballots by others – a felony; mandatory annual review of voter rolls to check for voters who have moved or are no longer eligible to vote; and renamed the mailboxes to “Secure Ballot Receiving Stations.”

Governor Ron DeSantis Signs Bill to Strengthen Florida's Election Integrity
https://www.flgov.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/4.25-Election-Integrity-Handout.pdf

“Twenty years ago, no one thought Florida was a great example of how to conduct elections, but we have become a national leader in conducting the safest elections in the country,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “We need to do more to ensure our elections remain safe. We ended ballot harvesting, stopped drop boxes and mail-in ballots, and banned Zuckerbucks, and this bill will give us more resources to make sure bad actors are held accountable.”

An earlier version of the bill would also have increased identification requirements on mail-in ballots beginning in 2024, but lawmakers removed that provision after election officials warned them that the way it would be presented could lead to confusion among voters. voters. Instead, a study will be conducted to see how best to implement new mail-in ballot requirements in the future.

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