DeSantis Proposes Election Crimes Agency with ‘Unprecedented Authority’
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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis proposed a new state agency to investigate election crimes.
The new Office of Election Crime and Security would give DeSantis and future governors unprecedented authority over election-related investigations. It would employ 45 investigators and have a $5.7 million budget to investigate violations of state election law and election “irregularities.”
“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,” DeSantis said in a recent State of the State address.
“This will facilitate the faithful enforcement of election laws and will provide Floridians with the confidence that their vote will count.”
The office would report to Secretary of State Laurel Lee and would have the power to take control over any investigation conducted by local police or prosecutors.
But Andrew Warren, the top prosecutor in Hillsborough county, said the proposal wasn’t serious and that there was no widespread election fraud in Florida. His office, he said, had received four referrals for election crimes over the two decades.
“This is a solution in search of a problem,” Warren said. “It’s a really expensive one at that. This is a $6m door prize for a QAnon pep rally.
“The implication is that there’s so much election fraud that law enforcement needs help investigating it and that state attorneys need help prosecuting it. I’m willing to bet a pretty penny that there’s not one sheriff or police chief or state attorney in the entire state of Florida who’s having that problem.”