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DeSantis announces 20 arrests tied to voter fraud charges

“This is just the first step. There are many more in the pipeline,” DeSantis stated. “We are not just going to turn a blind eye to this. The days of that happening in Florida are over.”

DeSantis stated that the workplace is actively investigating individuals who have voted in two states and undocumented immigrants who he says might have voted illegally in Florida. He offered no particular particulars about these ongoing investigations.

Voting rights teams, most of whom opposed the creation of the election’s investigation workplace, pushed again arduous towards the announcement.

Florida Rising Executive Director Andrea Mercado stated the announcement is an indication that his administration is undermining individuals’s entry to voting, and famous a DeSantis’ drawn congressional redistricting map erased a North Florida congressional district that has lengthy carried out for Black voters.

“No one has done more to violate the integrity of Florida’s elections and make it harder for Floridians to be part of our democracy than Ron DeSantis,” she stated. “If we had a real election integrity department, they would be arresting the governor for erasing Black districts and threatening neighbors helping neighbors cast their ballot.”

“What today shows is not that democracy is working in Florida, it’s that the offices that are trying to turn our state into one-man rule will do whatever they can to distract and deflect from how they have reduced Floridians’ ability to vote and have their voice heard,” she added.

In 2018, state voters handed Amendment 4, which arrange a course of the place most felons may get their voting rights restored. Some extreme convictions, like homicide or felony sexual assault, didn’t qualify underneath the constitutional language.

During the press convention, DeSantis was flanked by law enforcement officials, Election Crimes and Security workplace director Pete Antonacci, Secretary of State Cord Byrd and Attorney General Ashley Moody.

“As elected leaders, it is incumbent on us to ensure free and fair elections and instill confidence in the voting process,” Moody stated. “No voting system can stand without the backing and confidence of the people it serves.”

Moody joined a Texas-led 2020 lawsuit final yr suing 4 swing states over “voting irregularities.” The lawsuit, which the Tampa Bay Times reported was mocked by her personal attorneys, was thrown out by the U.S. Supreme Court.

DeSantis made clear, as he has previously, that he thought total Florida’s 2020 election was an “efficient, transparent election.” DeSantis has had to stroll a tightrope as former President Donald Trump has refused to acknowledge President Joe Biden received the election and pressured states to audit their elections. DeSantis didn’t transfer ahead with an audit however has pushed for election overhaul payments, together with creation of the election’s investigation workplace.

DeSantis has had an outsized give attention to voter fraud in Florida, which is comparatively uncommon, and amplified these considerations throughout Thursday’s press convention, which included these in attendance holding campaign-style indicators that learn “My Vote Counts” and got here with DeSantis’ signature.

DeSantis didn’t give particular particulars about which areas of the state the arrests had been made, however stated the bulk had been in Democratic strongholds of Palm, Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

DeSantis held no related press convention earlier this yr when 4 males from The Villages, a sprawling retirement neighborhood that leans closely (*20*), had been arrested for making an attempt to solid a number of ballots.

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