The Phoenix Flyer

Gov. DeSantis’ ‘election integrity’ bill awaits final vote on Florida House floor

By: - March 7, 2022 12:36 pm

Ballot drop box in Florida’s state capital. Credit:

Legislation to give Gov. Ron DeSantis an “elections integrity” squad is awaiting debate in the state House after clearing the Senate on Friday.

The Senate vote was 24-14. The House could take it up at any time.

The bill (SB 524) creates an Office of Election Crimes and Security within the Florida Department of State comprising 15 civilian workers to look into reports of voting fraud including anonymous allegations made through a hot line.

Additionally, the legislation would authorize 10 special agents to investigate elections fraud within each of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

DeSantis and legislative Republicans cite the need to restore faith in Florida’s elections, even though the governor praised the state’s conduct of the 2020 elections as an example to the nation. Meanwhile, Donald Trump and his supporters have stirred up distrust by advancing allegations of voter fraud that the courts have consistently rejected.

The Senate bill drops language that would have required voters to use as many as five envelopes to case main-in ballots in favor of a requirement that the Department of State, which oversees elections, study how to use various forms of identification to make balloting more secure and report back on Feb. 1.

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Michael Moline
Michael Moline

Michael Moline has covered politics and the legal system for more than 30 years. He is a former managing editor of the San Francisco Daily Journal and former assistant managing editor of The National Law Journal.