Voting rights advocates decry Florida’s new office for election crimes
The Florida Legislature has passed a bill approving 3 million dollars in funding to create a 25-person office to investigate potential criminal violations of election laws. Voting rights advocacy groups are calling the move unnecessary and hazardous to the rights of voters. A statement released from the Florida chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union claims, “The handful of cases of intentional misconduct that have been prosecuted in the past year demonstrates that the existing system works. There are no guardrails in this legislation to prevent the proposed office from becoming politicized.” Additionally, per the same legislation, the collection of two mail-in ballots will now be classified as a felony, punishable by jail time, and third-party voter registration groups which fail to turn in a voter’s registration within two weeks may be subjected to fines as high as $50,000.