Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) proposed last week the creation of an election integrity unit to investigate and arrest those who commit voter fraud.
The proposal calls for the creation of the Office of Election Crimes and Security, which would hire 52 people to “investigate, detect, apprehend, and arrest anyone for an alleged violation” from election security tips of election fraud. The cost of the program would be $5.7 million and must be approved during Florida’s 60-day legislative session.
“To ensure that elections are conducted in accordance with the rule of law, I propose an election integrity unit whose sole focus will be the enforcement of Florida’s election laws,” DeSantis announced during his State of the State address. “This will facilitate the faithful enforcement of election laws and will provide Floridians with the confidence that their vote will matter.”
American first state lawmakers are in support of the election integrity measure, though others are either on the fence or oppose it.
Establishment Republican House Speaker Rep. Chris Sprowls (R), who has an outsized influence on what is enacted into law, said he is undecided if the measure would be helpful. “We’re going to look at it, we’ll evaluate it and see what happens,” the Washington Post reported his position.
State Rep. and U.S. congressional candidate Anthony Sabatini (R) ranked most conservative member of the Florida House told Breitbart News he favors the proposal because making sure every legal vote counts is imperative.
“Having a mechanism to enforce Florida law, which prohibits illegal aliens from voting and those who are not Florida residents, is commonsense,” Sabatini said. “Republicans win elections when only legal, chain of custody votes are counted.”
State Senator Sen. Dennis Baxley (R) from Central Florida, a powerful member on the Appropriations Committee and a previous supporter of cleaning contaminated voter rolls, told Breitbart News the proposal needs to be further studied but expressed his support for “anything” that would secure Florida’s elections.
“This is something that needs a little more contemplation, but anything we can do to help secure our elections should be looked at carefully,” Baxley said. “Governor DeSantis has been doing an amazing job and we want to support him in his efforts to protect our votes and keep Florida free.”
Ranking Democrat on the House Public Integrity & Elections Committee, Geraldine Thompson (D), told the Post she believes election integrity is a waste of money and credited Florida for having one of the safest elections throughout the nation in 2020.
“The governor and other officials in Florida said the 2020 election was the most secure and efficiently run election that we ever had,” Thompson stated. “So I see absolutely no reason for this elections commission to be established, particularly at the cost that he is proposing.”
The initiative to protect election integrity in Florida comes as election proceeders in many other states have been altered by pandemic-related rule changes, rending proceeders that may not be safe or fair.
On Thursday, a Wisconsin court ruled that absentee ballot drop boxes used in the 2020 presidential election are unlawful in Wisconsin. The judge’s ruling reportedly stated the so-called “bipartisan” Wisconsin Elections Commission had no legal authority issue the dropbox guidance to local election officials without proceeding through the traditional rulemaking process, if it could be done legally at all.
In Georgia, election officials opened an investigation into possible illegal ballot harvesting in the 2020 election, according to True the Vote evidence. The evidence reportedly includes phone data correlated with video that shows individuals dropping ballots at 5,662 ballot drops during the 2020 pandemic.