Apr 25, 2022 - Politics & Policy

DeSantis signs bill creating election police in Florida

Photo of Ron DeSantis standing behind a fence

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis attends a UFC 273 event at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on April 9 in Jacksonville, Fla. Photo: James Gilbert via Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Monday signed a bill to form a statewide law enforcement agency to investigate voter fraud and other election crimes.

Why it matters: The measure is part of a slate of voting restrictions initiated after former President Trump's baseless claims of a stolen election. Despite the fact that instances of voter fraud are rare in the U.S., DeSantis pushed for an election police force last year, echoing Trump's claims without citing evidence.

Details: The bill creates an Office of Election Crimes and Security within the Department of State.

  • This agency will review allegations of fraud, initiate independent inquiries and carry out preliminary investigations.
  • The new law also requires DeSantis to appoint special officers to investigate election law violations, increases penalties for third-party collections of completed ballots and mandates more frequent voter list maintenance.

The big picture: Florida is one of a number of Republican-run states to have either passed or are considering new voting restrictions after the 2020 election.

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