Florida representatives have urged Republican Governor Ron DeSantis to make a persistent 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 a speech last year, DeSantis, an associate of former President Donald Trump and a prospective 2024 presidential aspirant, requested the creation of an election police force.
The move would make an Office of Election Crimes and Security within the Department of State to 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 hoaxes are extremely thin on the ground, and DeSantis had commended the election administration in Florida over the success of the 2020 election.
However, for the past two years, he has worked toward enforcing stricter election codes in the state. He inked legislation that imposed additional restrictions to the state’s ballot drop boxes and vote-by-mail system in 2021 during an appearance in Fox News.
The Florida law was a part of GOP-led movements imposed amid Trump’s groundless statements regarding the 2020 election, saying it was contrived 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, 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.’”
On the other hand, 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 also mandate recurrent updates of voter rolls and raise penalties for several election delinquencies. Furthermore, it would prohibit ranked-choice voting.