The Florida Senate has passed a bill that would create “Office of Election Crimes and Security,” the first time such an office has been created in the country, according to The Epoch Times. The bill, which passed on Friday, will make its way into the Republican-dominated House for a vote and then head to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ desk.
The legislation will create an office for investigating election fraud and reports on election-related crimes, comprised of 15 people working under the umbrella of the State Department.
As reports and evidence of election fraud during the 2020 presidential election have continued to be uncovered across the nation in key states like Wisconsin and Georgia, proponents of election integrity have long been calling for similar offices to be created in every state.
Additionally, Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has remained a strong champion of individual liberty and freedom in Florida, also voiced his support for an election investigation unit during his State of the Union address in January 2022:
“Ballot harvesting has no place in Florida and we need to increase the penalties for those who do it. We also need to ensure that supervisors clean the voter rolls, that only citizens are registered to vote and that mail ballots only go to those who actually request them before each individual election.
To ensure that elections are conducted in accordance with the rule of law, I have proposed an election integrity unit whose sole focus will be the enforcement of Florida’s election laws. This will facilitate the faithful enforcement of election laws and will provide Floridians with the confidence that their vote will count.”Gov. Ron DeSantis
Further, The Epoch Times revealed in their report that the proposed legislation would increase the penalty for ballot harvesting from a misdemeanor to a felony. Further, fines for election law violations would be raised, and voter rolls and lists would be regularly updated and checked.
The likelihood of the bill passing the Republican-controlled House is strong, and Gov. DeSantis has already voiced that he will be signing it into law as soon as it arrives on his desk.