DeSantis takes action to protect election integrity in Florida

by Summer Lane

Photo: Alamy

Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., is taking action to strengthen election security in the Sunshine State by toughening penalties for election-related crimes and eliminating ballot drop boxes.

“We have taken action to protect the integrity of our elections by making ballot harvesting a felony,” DeSantis wrote on Twitter, “strengthening voter ID, eliminating drop boxes, and banning Zuckerbucks.”

In early June, DeSantis pledged a staggering $14 million to support election integrity in Florida, vowing that the financial investment was “proof that in Florida, we take election integrity seriously.”

The move to funnel more money into election integrity came shortly after DeSantis signed SB 524 into law in April, which created a landmark Office of Election Crimes and Security.

“If you ballot harvest in the state of Florida, this is now a third-degree felony,” DeSantis said during a recent “Just Say No to Ballot Harvesting” press conference. He also added that you “are not getting Zuckerbucks in any of this stuff.”

“Zuckerbucks” refers to alleged dark money that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been known to funnel into election processes. For example, Zuckerberg contributed more than $400 million into Wisconsin’s 2020 presidential election processes by diverting it through non-profit organizations. Many Americans are suspicious of what influence that money may have had on the election outcome.

DeSantis appointed a director for the Office of Election Crimes and Security last week, Peter Antonacci. “I am confident he will lead the Office of Election Crimes and Security with integrity to ensure that Florida’s elections are the most secure in the nation,” the governor said in an official statement.

DeSantis has consistently spearheaded election security in the Sunshine State following nationwide reports of fraud and irregularities that occurred during the 2020 presidential election.

“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,” DeSantis stated when he signed SB 524. “We need to do more to ensure our elections remain secure.”

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