Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., moved to strengthen election integrity in the Sunshine State by announcing a whopping $14 million investment into protecting election processes.
“My administration’s more-than-$14-million investment is proof that in Florida, we take election integrity seriously,” he said in a statement posted on Twitter.
This is not the first time Florida has taken steps to secure U.S. elections. In March, the Florida Senate advanced a bill to create an election crime investigation office. In April, Gov. DeSantis signed the bill into law (SB 524), effectively establishing election security measures, such as ID requirements and upping penalties for violations of existing election laws.
Gov. DeSantis stated:
“Twenty years ago, nobody thought Florida was a prime example of how to conduct elections, but we have become a national leader by running the most secure elections in the country. We need to do more to ensure our elections remain secure. We have ended ballot harvesting, stopped drop boxes and the mass mailing of ballots, and banned Zuckerbucks, and this bill will give us more resources to make sure bad actors are held accountable.”
The governor’s newest pledge to uphold election integrity allocates $8 million to improve cybersecurity, $3.5 million to create the office of election crimes and security, $2 million for security improvements and enhancements to election technology, and $575,000 for improving the accuracy of voter rolls.
The investment is part of DeSantis’ broader Freedom First Budget for the fiscal year of 2022-2023. According to the official Freedom First Budget website, the total budget totals $99.7 billion and “continues Governor DeSantis’ commitment to Florida’s K-12 students and teachers, and environmental resources, while maintaining historic reserves, including over $10.6 billion in General Revenue, to effectively respond to any unforeseen emergency.”