Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced on Thursday that the state has charged and will be arresting nearly two dozen individuals for committing voter fraud in state elections.
Speaking at a press conference on election integrity, DeSantis revealed that the state’s Office of Election Crimes and Security, in conjunction with the Florida Attorney General’s office, had identified 20 people that had illegally cast ballots in recent elections, with a majority of the cases coming from Democrat strongholds such as Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties.
“These folks voted illegally, in this case … they are disqualified from voting because they’ve been convicted of either murder or sexual assault and they do not have the right to vote,” DeSantis said.
The Florida Republican also went on to note that the state plans to “ensure that all the records that [Florida has] from the most recent election in 2020 are preserved” in order to guarantee that election laws are being followed.
“We do have ongoing reviews at the state level, and so we are putting out notice that all 67 supervisors of elections … need to make sure to preserve all the documentation until all these investigations are complete,” DeSantis said. “We want to make sure that when you start some prosecutions … you need to focus on anyone that violated the law.”
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody also echoed similar sentiments, saying that “the state of Florida is … tak[ing] election security very seriously.”
“We want to recognize today that in order for a democracy to persevere, in order for us to remain a country and a state under a rule of law, we must have men and women that are willing to enforce those laws. And today is a recognition of that,” Moody said.
Back in April, DeSantis signed legislation that created the Office of Election Crimes and Security, which falls under the jurisdiction of Florida’s State Department. According to a press release on the bill, the newly established office was developed as a means “to investigate election law violations” and increase “penalties for violations of election laws.”
Other election integrity initiatives DeSantis has taken include the signing of SB 90, which in addition to banning “Zuckbucks” and other private funding of election processes, strengthened voter identification, banned “the mass mailing of ballots,” and outlawed ballot harvesting.