Florida Governor Signs Bill to Create Election Police Unit

Tallahassee, Florida (AP) — Governor of Florida Rondesantis signed the bill on Monday Create a police After falsely claiming that the re-election of former President Donald Trump was stolen, he accepted the Republican Party’s top priorities and devoted himself to the pursuit of fraudulent elections and other election crimes.

The new law will come after the Republican Governor has focused on voting law this year, Push Republican-controlled State Capitol In response to Trump’s groundless allegations, create a police unit as the state reassesses its own electoral system.

DeSantis, who is widely considered to run for reelection and become a potential presidential candidate for 2024, praises the smoothness of the last election and needs more rules to stop fraud. And emphasized Trump’s protracted impact on Republican policy making. Critics argued that local prosecutors could handle election crimes and considered the law politically motivated and unnecessary.

At a bill signing ceremony on Monday at a sports bar in Spring Hill, Florida, DeSantis justified the need for a new law enforcement agency, and existing law enforcement agencies are not ready to thoroughly investigate fraud cases. Or suggested that it may not be progressing.

“Some of them may not care much about elections. I think their reactions will vary. So we have them, whatever the law in the book. I just want to make sure that the law is in force. “

Rogues are rare, usually occur in isolated instances, and are usually detected. Associated Press Survey In the 2020 presidential election, less than 475 possible fraudulent votes were found out of the 25.5 million votes cast in six states where Trump and his allies challenged the defeat of President Joe Biden. ..

Republicans across the country have emphasized the need to regain public confidence in elections and have set several voting methods over the past two years with the aim of establishing new rules on postal and early voting methods that will become widespread in 2020. Was passed.

The law has established the Election Crimes and Security Department under the Secretary of State of Florida to review allegations of fraud and conduct preliminary investigations. DeSantis must appoint a group of special officers of the Florida Law Enforcement Department to track down election law violations.

Existing state law allowed the governor to appoint officers to investigate election law violations, but did not require him to do so.

The law also raises penalties for felony charges against the collection of completed ballots by third parties (often referred to as ballot harvesting). This imposes fines for certain election law violations and requires election supervisors to maintain their voter list more often.

The Democratic Party, a minority in the state legislature, has criticized the bill as a way for DeSantis to sue Republican voters who believe the 2020 election results are fraudulent, and the governor is cheating on the presidential election.

“DeSantis’ so-called Election Reform Act is a continuous Republican attack to create public distrust of our election integrity. No bill is needed and taxpayers’ money is wasted.” Said.

Federal Judge in late March Defeated some of the drastic elections Last year, a fierce ruling alleging that Republican-controlled state governments were oppressing black voters ordered the bill to require court approval in an attempt to create a similar new law over the next decade. Was done.

U.S. District Judge Mark Walker has overturned last year’s legislative provisions that limit the time drop boxes can be used to submit ballots and a section that prohibits engagement with people waiting to vote. .. He also blocked the section that imposes new rules on groups that register voters. This includes a section that requires people working to register voters to submit their name and registered domicile to the state.

The DeSantis administration is working to overturn Walker’s ruling.