Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla) announced that 20 people have been charged with voter fraud in his state and are in the process of being arrested.
Most had voted illegally because they were previously convicted of murder or sexual assault charges.
“These folks voted illegally, in this case, and there’s going to be other grounds for other prosecutions in the future, and they are disqualified for voting because they’d been convicted of either murder or sexual assault, and they do not have the right to vote,” DeSantis said, adding “They have been disenfranchised under Florida law.”
He noted how Amendment 4 had been passed to allow convicts without sexual assault and murder convictions to be able to vote again, but the 20 that DeSantis had arrested didn’t meet that criteria, and therefore broke the law.
“That is against the law, and now they’re going to pay the price for it… they will be charged, they are being charged today with election fraud. This is a third degree felony in the state of Florida, they could face a $5,000 fine and up to five years in prison for illegally voting in our elections,” DeSantis said.
In the lead up to the press conference, DeSantis teased a “major announcement” and was billed to focus on election integrity and voting.
The Florida governor began the event touting that his state had one of the most secure elections in history, pointing out that “many other states” had “huge problems” during the 2020 election.
“We didn’t make any unconstitutional changes to election procedures… we basically followed the law, the people, the voters were better for it, the transparency was better,” DeSantis said, adding that while the election went more smoothly and voters were more confident in the results, more work still has to be done.
Additionally DeSantis said he directed all 67 supervisors of elections to preserve records related to the 2020 elections.
“We made very clear in the next legislative session after 2020, that this was going to be a priority,” DeSantis said about the previous two legislations.
The Florida governor promised to “rigorously” enforce the laws and work endlessly to make sure the most recent election records, going back to 2020, would be preserved.