Ron DeSantis Calls for Legislation Boosting Florida’s Election Security

This week, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced a new legislative proposal to further strengthen Florida’s election integrity. This proposed legislation will be addressed in the upcoming 2022 Legislative Session, which begins in January.

“We are excited to say that next legislative session we are proposing another package of election integrity reforms that will make Florida the number one state for elections,” said DeSantis. “I am excited that with this legislation, our state will be able to enforce election violations, combat voter fraud and make sure violators are held accountable. If potential violators know they will be held accountable, they will be much less likely to engage in improper conduct in the first place.”

DeSantis called on the Legislature to take four additional steps to safeguard Florida’s elections:

  • Establish an Office of Election Crimes and Security within the Department of State to investigate election crimes and fraud;
  • Elevate the crime of ballot harvesting to a third-degree felony, recognizing that this offense is a serious attack on democracy;
  • Require timelines for supervisors of elections to clean the voter rolls of ineligible voters; and
  • Prohibit unsecure, haphazard drop box locations in Florida.

The 2022 legislative proposal builds on election integrity legislation signed into law by DeSantis in May 2021 through Senate Bill 90. DeSantis worked with the Florida Legislature to strengthen voter identification, prohibit the mass mailing of ballots, ban ballot harvesting and prohibit private money from influencing elections.

Outgoing state House Minority Leader Bobby DuBose, D-Ft. Lauderdale, said the governor was supporting voter suppression.

“This new ‘election integrity’ package proposed by the governor earlier today is nothing but a continuation of an attack on voting rights for all Floridians. Let’s call it like it is: voter suppression. Gov. DeSantis continues to prioritize campaigning instead of governing. Let’s not forget that a provision regarding the availability of ballot drop boxes is something he signed off on during his first Session. This election integrity sham will only end up in court just like SB 90, signed into law this last session, which was already deemed unconstitutional. As we now know the governor’s team is struggling to hold up valid arguments to enforce the voter suppression law across the state, and has even gone as far as to persuade state university officials to prevent their employees, professors considered subject matter experts on elections, from exercising their constitutional rights and testifying against the law in court. Gov. DeSantis will continue to play political theatre to score points with his base, as communities of color, like mine, continue to suffer,” DuBose said.

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