Florida is at least one state that appears to be taking election integrity seriously.
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced this week that Florida has charged 20 people with voter fraud, the Washington Examiner reports.
DeSantis made the announcement Thursday during a press conference held at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale.
DeSantis did not reveal the specific identities of those charged. But, he did reveal that those charged are from southern Florida – specifically from Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami Dade counties – and that those charged voted in the 2020 elections despite being prohibited from doing so.
These individuals were prohibited from voting by a Florida law that disenfranchises people who have been convicted of such crimes as murder and sexual assault. Such individuals can get their voting rights back if they adhere to a specific process. But, these individuals failed to do so and, thus, were prohibited from voting in 2020.
DeSantis announced that these 20 individuals have been charged with voter fraud.
In Florida, voter fraud is a third-degree felony. Accordingly, those charged, if convicted, could be sentenced to a maximum of five years in prison and to pay a maximum fine of $5,000.
The job is not finished
This is all part of an effort taking place in Florida to ensure election integrity.
To this end, Florida, earlier this year, created the Florida Office of Election Crimes and Security. These 20 charges, according to DeSantis, are just the “opening salvo” of the office.
“It’s not just going to be 20 arrests,” DeSantis said on Thursday. “This is the opening salvo of an office that was just set up on July 1. This is the first step. There will be more that happen over the weeks and months [ahead]. And, hopefully, there’s not a lot of cases that need to be prosecuted for 2022.”
DeSantis added that “there are investigations ongoing into people that have voted in two different jurisdictions,” and the governor said that there are “folks who are voting who are illegal aliens.”
The bottom line is that, unlike many other states, particularly Democrat-run states, Florida is clearly taking election integrity seriously, which is a necessary step toward restoring confidence in our elections after the 2020 elections.