Lawmakers in Florida are pushing Republican Governor Ron DeSantis to make a resolute investigative unit for alleged election crimes, under a more comprehensive bill that would, consecutively for the second year, constitute new voting restrictions in the state.
In an address last year, DeSantis, an associate of former President Donald Trump and a prospective 2024 presidential aspirant, requested that the government create a special force to patrol and secure elections.
The move would make an Office of Election Crimes and Security within the Department of State that would investigate “allegations of election law violations or election irregularities.” On Wednesday night, it was passed by the House, which is led by GOPs, across party lines.
Election frauds are extremely thin on the ground, and in 2020, Florida had an election that went off without any significant problems or glitches, which DeSantis commended.
But he has worked to enforce stricter election codes in the state for two years now. He signed legislation that imposed additional restrictions on ballot drop boxes and vote-by-mail systems during an appearance on Fox News.
The Florida law was one of many moves by the GOP imposed amid Trump’s groundless statements regarding the 2020 election, saying it was rigged against him.
DeSantis is set to ink the new legislation as the state Senate approved it last week. Democrats stood against the bill.
“The only thing I can think is we are motivated by the ‘Big Lie,’” said stated Senator Lori Berman, as per Florida Politics, citing Trump’s election whoppers. “We know voter fraud is extremely rare. I just don’t understand why we are going to be taking our taxpayer money and creating this quote ‘police force.’”
Conversely, several Republicans mentioned voters’ concerns.
“Our job is to make sure our elections are as secure as possible, and you want to know why? Our constituents are demanding it,” state Representative Blaise Ingoglia said, as per Tampa Bay Times.
The legislation would mandate that election rolls be updated regularly and raise penalties for several delinquencies. Moreover, it prohibits ranked-choice voting.
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