On Monday, Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law that strengthens his state’s election security measures and creates a new police unit to investigate potential violations of election laws.
“This legislation will strengthen election security measures by requiring voter rolls to be annually reviewed and updated, strengthening ID requirements, establishing the Office of Election Crimes and Security to investigate election law violations, and increasing penalties for violations of election laws,” DeSantis’ office said in a statement.
DeSantis announced his signing of the bill on Twitter, saying, “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.”
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
“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 said in a press release. “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.”
In addition to creating the “Office of Election Crimes and Security,” the bill will also authorize additional investigators within the state’s Department of Law Enforcement, according to Politico. The state has set aside a budget of $2.6 million and 25 positions for the two agencies.
“Governor DeSantis has made elections integrity a top priority from the very beginning of his administration, taking steps to ensure we invested in our elections systems, strengthened our cyber defenses, modernized equipment, updated voter rolls, and improved transparency, and we’ve seen results,” said Florida Secretary of State, Laurel M. Lee. “As Florida’s Chief Elections Official, I share Governor DeSantis’ strong commitment to elections integrity. We want to ensure that every Floridian can have confidence that in Florida, we do elections right.”
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