Florida Governor DeSantis Calls for Election Police Force



Last Wednesday, Gov. DeSantis announced his plan to create a police force to investigate election crimes.

Alexis Incandela, Editor-In-Chief

During a press conference last Wednesday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced that he would create a law enforcement agency to investigate election crimes. This comes as a part of a new package of voting laws to push for election integrity.

DeSantis announced a series of election law proposals for lawmakers to consider during the legislative session next year. He plans on implementing new restrictions on ballot drop boxes and also plans on strengthening penalties for ballot harvesting, which is when a third-party organization collects and turns in completed election ballots.

“We are going to create a separate office at the state level solely dedicated to investigating and prosecuting election crimes in the state of Florida. We’ll [have] sworn law enforcement officers as part of this, we’ll have investigators, we’ll have the statewide prosecutor that’s able to bring the cases,” said DeSantis. According to his office, the new Office of Election Crimes and Security would be formed “within the Department of State to investigate election crimes and fraud.”

During the conference, DeSantis hinted that the Florida election system had been compromised during the 2020 presidential election, although, he did not cite any evidence to support his statements.

Earlier this year, DeSantis signed a bill that restricted the use of drop boxes, strengthened voter ID laws, prohibited ballot harvesting, and mandated voters who wanted to cast absentee ballots to submit new requests every election cycle instead of every four years. He stated that his goal with the new proposal is to discourage criminal activity and prevent voter fraud. However, his critics indicate that these unnecessary restrictions have nothing to do with election integrity and are merely methods to suppress voting.

“Let’s be clear: DeSantis and his cronies are only concerned about limiting peoples’ right to vote. State lawmakers should focus instead on expanding early voting options, increasing drop-box accessibility, improving transparency, and ensuring our election operations are fully funded,” said Brad Ashwell, the Florida director of All Voting is Local.

DeSantis is up for a 2022 midterm reelection and is considering entering the 2024 presidential election. This proposal is suspected to be his way to protect his spot in the midterm elections next year.