April 25, 2022 Updated 4:16 P.M. ET
SPRING HILL (FLV) – Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill Monday creating a division in the Department of State that will investigate election crimes and voter fraud in Florida.
“We just want to make sure that whatever laws are on the books that those laws are enforced,” DeSantis said. “You can sit there and say no ballot harvesting, voter ID, all these things, clean the voter rolls, but how do you know that is going to be enforceable?”
The new law creates the Office of Election Crimes and Security within the Department of State. The office will review reports of alleged election law violations and investigate any violations. The office will oversee the department’s voter fraud hotline.
The law also increased penalties for ballot collection, also known as ballot harvesting. Ballot harvesting is when people collect and turn in individual voters’ completed election ballots. Under the new law, ballot harvesting is a third degree penalty.
“If you have someone that can go collect dozens of ballots across an area, you wonder how did those ballots get into that individual’s hands?” DeSantis said. “And it creates a lot of problems.”
The law also requires the voter rolls be updated with accurate information every year.
“I don’t think there’s any other place in the country where you should have more confidence that your vote announced that in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said.
“We just want to make sure that whatever laws are on the books that those are going to be enforced,” DeSantis said.
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