Gov. Ron DeSantis says Florida election police charged 20 people with voter fraud

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said his new election police force charged 20 people with voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

DeSantis, a Republican who drew applause from supporters attending a news conference Thursday, said his election police officers identified people who were barred from voting due to murder or sexual assault convictions but voted anyway. in 2020.

“They did not go through any process. They didn’t get their rights back, and yet they went ahead and voted anyway. That is against the law and now they are going to pay the price for it,” DeSantis. said. “These people we are following are outside the bounds of Amendment 4.”

The crimes of murder and sexual assault are an exception to Florida Amendment 4, which allows criminals to claim their voting rights, according to CBSNews.

DeSantis said most of the defendants voted in Broward, Miami-Dade or Palm Beach counties. He did not provide details on any individual case.

Voter fraud is a third-degree felony, DeSantis said, and defendants face maximum punishments of five years in prison and $5,000 fines.

The state launched the first Office of Electoral Crimes and Security in the country in early July, drawing condemnation from critics who called it a voter “intimidation” tactic. More than 11 million Floridians voted in the 2020 election. no evidence that voter fraud is a widespread problem there or anywhere else in the United States.

DeSantis said more prosecutions are coming, with investigators targeting people who voted in two separate jurisdictions and undocumented immigrants.

“This is just the first step,” DeSantis said. “There will be foreign citizens. We want the federal government to work constructively on this, and so far that has not been the case. We have an obligation to make sure American citizens vote.”

The politically ambitious agenda of the Republican suffered a setback on Thursday, when a judge ruled that his “Stop WOKE Act,” which restricts discussions of race in businesses and schools, was unconstitutional, according to the associated press.

Earlier this week, Hillsborough County State’s Attorney Andrew Warren sued the governor, claiming he was removed from his job in retaliation for his stance on abortion and transgender rights. AP reported.

DeSantis has been billed as a likely 2024 presidential candidate. He is running for re-election in Florida’s gubernatorial race in November.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.


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