Hard Time: DeSantis Announces 20 Arrests for Voter Fraud

August 20, 2022 Topic: Ron DeSantis Region: United States Blog Brand: Politics Tags: Ron DeSantisElection FraudFloridaPoliticoVoting Rights

Hard Time: DeSantis Announces 20 Arrests for Voter Fraud

The potential penalty for those arrested is up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced on Thursday that twenty people who voted in the 2020 election will be arrested and charged with voter fraud, according to a new Politico report.

The investigation was led by the Republican governor’s Office of Election Crimes and Security, which was created during the 2022 legislative session to focus on election fraud investigations and prosecutions.

According to CBS News, DeSantis noted that the individuals arrested were all convicted of either murder or sexual assault, adding that they were not among those whose voting rights were restored by Amendment 4. That ballot measure, which passed in 2018, restored voting rights to felons in the state, with the exception of those convicted of rape or murder.  

“They did not go through any process. They did not get their rights restored and yet they went ahead and voted anyways,” DeSantis, who is seen as a potential 2024 Republican presidential candidate, said during his news conference.

“That is against the law and now they're going to pay the price for it. These people who we're following up are outside the contours of Amendment 4,” he continued.

DeSantis also asserted that the office would be investigating voters who were undocumented when they cast their votes in 2020.

“This is just the first step,” he said. “There are going to be foreign nationals. We want the federal government to be working constructively on this, and so far, that has not been the case. We have an obligation to make sure that U.S. citizens are voting.”

The potential penalty for those arrested is up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Meanwhile, Politico reported that voting rights groups pushed back hard against DeSantis’ announcement.

“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. 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,” said Andrea Mercado, executive director of Florida Rising.

“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 continued.

Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-based Finance and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.

Image: Reuters.