DeSantis Announces Voter-Fraud Arrests on Eve of Florida Primary

  • In World
  • 2022-08-18 20:27:39Z
  • By Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced Thursday that his new elections police force has arrested 20 former felons on charges of illegally voting in the 2020 election.

Most Read from Bloomberg

  • Apple Targets Sept. 7 for iPhone 14 Launch in Flurry of New Devices

  • Covid's Harmful Effects on the Brain Reverberate Years Later

  • Biden Called Cheney After Her Loss to Trump-Backed Challenger

  • Xi and Putin to Attend G-20 Summit in Indonesia, Jokowi Says

  • After 2,240% Run, Tesla Visionary Leaves UK Fund Bleeding Money

Flanked by members of the new Office of Election Crimes and Security, DeSantis said the ex-felons -- all convicted of murder or sex offenses -- would now be charged with voter fraud, a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

In 2018, Florida voters overwhelmingly voted to restore voting rights to felons -- except those convicted of murder and sex offenses. The Republican-led legislature later dramatically undercut the ballot measure by requiring they repay outstanding fines and fees.

The announcement, made in the Democratic stronghold of Broward County, came five days before a competitive Democratic primary between former Governor Charlie Crist and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried to face DeSantis in November. DeSantis does not have a primary challenger.

DeSantis said the arrests are an example of voter fraud cases that would "fall through the cracks" before his elections police force -- which reports directly to him -- began operation in July. He promised more arrests of people who voted in more than one jurisdiction or were not US citizens.

"This is the opening salvo," he said.

Standing at a rostrum that said "election integrity," Secretary of State Cord Byrd, a DeSantis appointee who has declined to say that Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election, pointed to a Democratic primary last year in Broward County in which Representative Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick won by five votes after a recount.

"I'm certain that in that tranche of voters there were plenty of illegal ballots cast," he said, without providing any evidence.

But Broward County Commissioner Steve Geller, a former Democratic legislative leader, called the news conference a publicity stunt.

"It was a giant nothingburger," he said. "It seemed to me that he was looking for an excuse to justify his new election police force and do it in an area where a lot of voters from the opposition party live."

Brad Ashwell, state director of the voting rights advocacy group All Voting is Local, said the news conference could intimidate some former felons who are eligible to vote.

"The timing is incredibly suspect," he said.

Michael Bloomberg, the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News, raised about $16 million with a Democratic-associated nonprofit to pay the outstanding costs owed by felons in the state, a requirement before they could vote under the ballot initiative.

Most Read from Bloomberg Businessweek

  • Richest Silicon Valley Suburb Says Build Anywhere But Here

  • AMC's CEO Will Do Whatever It Takes to Keep His Company a Meme Forever

  • Chinese EV Maker BYD Aims to Conquer World Markets as the Un-Tesla

  • A Crypto Winter King Wants to Reanimate the Industry

  • Neobanks Are Struggling to Make Good on Their Lofty Promises

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.


More Related News

Financial Crisis Redux Looms in Asia as Major Currencies Crack
Financial Crisis Redux Looms in Asia as Major Currencies Crack

(Bloomberg) -- Asian markets risk a reprise of financial crisis-level stress as two of the region's most important currencies crumble under the onslaught of ...

Fed's Bostic Says US Could Have a 'Relatively Orderly' Slowdown

(Bloomberg) -- Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Raphael Bostic said the strong US job market suggests the economy could slow down in "a relatively...

Brazilians' Outlook on Economy Improves Ahead of Vote
  • World
  • 2022-09-25 15:24:19Z

(Bloomberg) -- Brazilians' views on the economy are improving amid stronger-than-expected activity and easing inflationary pressures. Most Read from...

Germany Secures Just One Tanker of Gas During Scholz
Germany Secures Just One Tanker of Gas During Scholz's Gulf Tour

(Bloomberg) -- Most Read from BloombergBank of England Says Paper Banknotes Only Good for One More WeekThe Great Bond Bubble Is 'Poof, Gone' in Worst Year...

Officials Quit Kuwait
Officials Quit Kuwait's $137 Billion Pension Fund They Revamped
  • World
  • 2022-09-25 13:48:21Z

(Bloomberg) -- Top officials who cleaned up and rebuilt Kuwait's Public Institution for Social Security have resigned, according to people with direct...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: World