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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Thursday arrested 20 people on felony convictions in a move designed to show the power of the new office tasked with policing votes in Florida. He filed charges and said he was charged with illegal voting.
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The announcement comes just days before the state’s primary elections, with early voting taking place. Surrounded by law enforcement, DeSantis said 20 people were charged with voting in the state’s most democratic counties, Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.
“They didn’t go through any process or get their rights back, but they still went ahead and voted anyway. It was against the law and now they’re going to pay the price.” He also said all 20 had been convicted of murder or sex crimes, crimes that lead to lifetime voting bans. Lifted the ban on all crimes.
The governor has released few other details about the charges, and the indictment and warrant were not immediately available. That lack of detail is significant. Here are the rules for felony voting: incredibly complicated of each place, including Florida, many people who commit felonies can be confused about their eligibility.there is is becoming some examples, including Florida, of illegal voting cases involving felons who turned out to be deranged people. Those who commit felonies can be easy targets for prosecutors looking to start voter fraud cases because they are already under surveillance.
DeSantis held a press conference Thursday in Broward County to defend the work of the Office of Election Crime and Security. first Established this year, it is responsible for investigating voter fraud. The head of that office, Peter Antonacchi, said Thursday was a “special day”. “This is the day we start taking fraud seriously,” he said.
Blair Bowie, an attorney at the Campaign Legal Center, a watchdog group that specializes in voting rights for people convicted of felonies, said the move “makes it so that eligible Floridians can’t even try to vote.” It is a clear threat and coercion to
After Florida voters lifted a life-long voting ban for felonies, Florida lawmakers passed a bill that makes it very difficult for people to determine if they can vote again. In a lawsuit challenging the election, Florida election officials testified that they routinely monitor ballot rolls to flag ineligible people, Bowie noted.
Bowie said in an email, “It is the state’s job to review voter registration applications as they are submitted and determine at that time whether a voter is eligible.” The Board vowed to review the eligibility of all registrations daily, and the first thing she said she would look for was ineligible convictions (homicide, sexual felonies) and “those registrations. will be canceled.
“Florida could have kept its promise and easily rejected these voter registrations to prevent ineligible voters from voting first. Instead, they prosecute people after the fact. I spend money on,” she added.