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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Monday signed legislation creating a state police force to investigate claims of voter fraud and other election integrity violations.
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.
The legislation I signed today will continue to make Florida a leader in election integrity by increasing penalties for ballot harvesting, expanding our ban on Zuckerbucks, and establishing an election integrity unit in state government to enforce our laws. pic.twitter.com/FPez9uf1gU
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) April 25, 2022
DeSantis’ Election Police
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Democrats have expressed concerns about the election police force legislation signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis.
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 start NOW securing elections for this November.
It would be in every governors best interest to take a page from DeSantis, and create an Election Police Team. BOTH sides need to know elections are fair.
This Team should have been in place from the very beginning.
— Lisa Christine •.•.•.•.•.• (@lisachristinect) April 26, 2022
Joy Reid is Outraged
MSNBC anchor Joy Reid is truly beside herself over the Florida law creating an election police force signed by Governor Ron DeSantis.
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. I wonder who they will go after first. 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 “trying 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.