DeSantis Announces 20 People Have Been Arrested on Felony Election Fraud Charges: 'Now They're Gonna Pay the Price'
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Thursday that 20 serious felons will face arrest for allegedly illegally voting in the state’s elections.
“The state of Florida has charged and is in the process of arresting 20 individuals across the state for voter fraud,” DeSantis said at a news conference.
DeSantis and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement are identifying those charged as convicted murderers and sex offenders who voted without receiving restoration of voting rights from the governor.
A 2018 ballot amendment restored the voting rights of Florida felons who serve their sentences.
However, this amendment made an exception for those convicted of murder and felony sexual assault.
Criminals in those categories don’t automatically get their voting rights back.
“They are disqualified from voting because they’ve been convicted of either murder or sexual assault, and they do not have the right to vote. They have been disenfranchised under Florida law … That is against the law, and now they’re going to pay the price for it.”
A majority of the alleged illegal voters cast ballots in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties, according to the governor.
DeSantis did not specify whether the charges stem exclusively from the 2020 election or subsequent state or local contests.
They’re facing a charge of voter fraud — a third-degree felony punishable by five years in prison in the state.
DeSantis alluded to the possibility of more charges for election crimes.
The governor referenced ongoing investigations into illegal aliens voting in elections, as well as voters who cast more than one ballot in multiple jurisdictions.
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigated the cases of alleged fraud.
DeSantis is touting his state’s commitment to election integrity and pointing to the charges as a warning to those who would exploit the system.
The governor signed a bill to strengthen voter ID requirements in April, as well as creating an entity to investigate and prosecute violations of the state’s election laws.
“Today’s actions send a clear signal to those who are thinking about ballot harvesting or fraudulently voting. If you commit an elections crime, you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
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