Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday signed Senate Bill 524 aimed at ensuring that Florida continues to have secure and accurate elections.
The legislation will establish the Office of Election Crimes and Security to investigate election law violations, and increasing penalties for violations of election laws. To read more about the bill, click here.
“Twenty years ago, nobody thought Florida was a prime example of how to conduct elections, but we have become a national leader by running the most secure elections in the country,” said DeSantis. “We need to do more to ensure our elections remain secure. We have ended ballot harvesting, stopped drop boxes and the mass mailing of ballots, and banned Zuckerbucks, and this bill will give us more resources to make sure bad actors are held accountable.”
The question of policing of elections has been shining a bright spotlight on The Villages where four residents have been charged with casting more than one ballot in the 2020 presidential election. Recently, two Villagers cut deals in their cases and will attend civics classes in lieu of more serious punishment.
The bill requires voter list maintenance to be conducted annually by supervisors of elections in order to combat the possibility of fraudulent voting.
Finally, the bill requires the Department of State to recommend a plan on how to strengthen ID requirements for mail-in ballots. The Department of State must submit a report on the plan and draft legislation for any statutory changes needed to implement the plan by February 1, 2023. The plan will include how to prescribe the use of a Florida driver license number, Florida identification card number, social security number, or any part thereof to confirm the identity of each elector returning a vote-by-mail-ballot.