Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed Monday legislation to create a state-level police force for investigating claims of voter fraud.
The bill creates a law enforcement agency officially called the “Office of Election Crimes and Security.”
It also revises the frequency with which election officials must maintain voter registration lists – specifically culling deceased individuals – and increases the penalty for ballot harvesting by making it a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison.
The legislation – known as SB 524 – also strengthens voter ID requirements.
“Twenty years ago, nobody thought Florida was a prime example of how to conduct elections, but we have become a national leader by running the most secure elections in the country,” DeSantis celebrated.
“We need to do more to ensure our elections remain secure. We have ended ballot harvesting, stopped drop boxes and the mass mailing of ballots, and banned Zuckerbucks, and this bill will give us more resources to make sure bad actors are held accountable,” he continued.
By increasing penalties for voting harvesting and expanding our ban of Zuckerbucks, the legislation that I signed today will ensure Florida continues to be a leader in election integrity. We also established an election integrity unit to monitor our laws. pic.twitter.com/FPez9uf1gU
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) April 25, 2022
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DeSantis’ Election Police
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Democrats are concerned about legislation governing election police that Governor Ron DeSantis signed.
Politico reports that Florida Democrats “remain skeptical about the need for the new election unit” because the Sunshine State “did not have any reports of widespread fraud in the last election.”
Still, they note “there are now investigations in several counties about whether several dozen people with felony convictions were allowed to register and vote in 2020.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday signed a sweeping voting overhaul bill that establishes a new election police force – giving his administration a new way to probe election crimes. https://t.co/W2Qh9qzfEO
— CNN (@CNN) April 26, 2022
Senate President Wilton Simpson praised DeSantis for the many moves he’s made to ensure election integrity – which should always be a necessity despite how Democrats feel.
“Florida leads the nation in free and fair elections because Governor DeSantis and the Legislature have taken a proactive approach to address any issues,” said Simpson. “Voter confidence in the integrity of our elections is essential to maintaining a democratic form of government.”
We must now secure the November elections.
Each governor would do well to follow DeSantis’ lead and form an Election Police Team. Both sides must know that elections are fair.
This team should have been present from the start.
— Lisa Christine •.•.•.•.•.• (@lisachristinect) April 26, 2022
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Joy Reid Is Outraged
Joy Reid of MSNBC is truly shocked by Florida’s law creating an electoral police force.
She accused him of planning to use that law enforcement agency to “intimidate” black people and attempted to insult him with a “Baby MAGA” reference.
“Buckle up, buttercup, because today, Baby MAGA signed a bill that allows him to create his own private police force that is tasked with pursuing alleged election law violations,” Reid said.
“Just lovely, the big lie will now have its own battalion of goons. They will be looking for the first person, I’m curious. I think you can guess,” she said.
Crazy Joy Reid accuses Florida Governor Ron DeSantis of creating a police force that is “gonna be sicced on black Floridians to intimidate them out of being able to vote.”
In reality, the police force she’s talking about is to help the state crack down on voter fraud crimes. pic.twitter.com/zi8giFZyS7
— Kevin Tober (@KevinTober94) April 26, 2022
Reid went on to suggest DeSantis, by signing the bill creating an election police force, is “Try to out-Trump Trump and doing these kinds of things.”
DeSantis isn’t trying to, he’s succeeding. In fact, considering former President Donald Trump’s consistent statements about election fraud since 2020, there’s no reason for him not to issue a statement praising the Florida governor for his efforts.