Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Signs Bill Into Law Based on Unfounded Voter Fraud Concerns
Governor Ron DeSantis signs off on bill that creates an entire police unit to handle voter fraud.
After former President Donald Trump’s false allegations of the 2020 election outcome being due to voter fraud, Republican Governor Ron DeSantis has leaned into his base’s unfounded priority of voter fraud prevention.
DeSantis — who is both running for reelection and is widely considered to be a potential 2024 presidential candidate — signed a bill Monday to create a police force dedicated to election crimes, according to CBS.
Pre-exisiting law gives the governor the option to appoint officers to look into election-related violations, while this current law requires DeSantis to do so.
The law also raises fines for certain election law violations, increases penalties for the collection of completed ballots by a third party to a felony, and requires election supervisors to perform maintenance on voter lists more frequently, according to CBS.
A bill ceremony was held at a sports bar in Spring Hill, Florida, on Monday, and DeSantis justified the necessity for the new police unit, suggesting that existing units may not be willing to investigate fraud cases thoroughly, according to the outlet.
"Some of them may not care as much about the election stuff. I think it's been mixed at how those reactions are going to be. So we just want to make sure whatever laws are on the books, that those laws are enforced," he said.
Because local prosecutors can handle election crimes, Democrats within the Florida legislature have labeled this new bill politically motivated and unnecessary, and shows the effect that Trump continues to have on Republican lawmaking, according to CBS.
Democratic Rep. Tracie Davis said to CBS, "DeSantis' so-called election reform legislation is a continued attack by the Republican Party to generate public distrust in the integrity of our elections. The bill is unnecessary and a waste of taxpayer funds.”
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