Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has confirmed that on Thursday 20 felons were arrested in Broward County for allegedly voting illegally.
DeSantis announced at a press conference, to a warm reception from those behind him, that those arrested had charges that ranged from sexual assault to murder.
“They did not go through any process. They did not get their rights restored and yet they went ahead and voted anyways. That is against the law and now they’re going to pay the price for it,” DeSantis said. “These people who we’re following up — are outside the contours of Amendment 4.”
Murder and sexual assault offenses are exceptions to Florida’s Amendment 4, which permits felons to reclaim their voting rights after serving their time, according to CBS News.
DeSantis also confirmed that election fraud is a 3rd degree felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. DeSantis said the number of those arrested is small compared to those who actually voted in the election, but he went on to note that this is just the beginning.
“So it’s not just going to be 20 arrests. This is the opening salvo of an office that was just set up on July 1,” DeSantis said. “This is not the sum total of 2020.”
DeSantis guaranteed that there would be further prosecutions for felons who aren’t eligible to vote or who aren’t US citizens. “I am pretty confident you’ll see prosecutions. Not necessarily tomorrow, but in the relatively near future,” DeSantis said.
Peter Antonacci, who is the director of the new state Office of Election Crimes and Security, later told the South Florida Sun Sentinel that a large number of potentially illegal votes are under investigation. “We’re working with the numbers and the numbers are shocking. A lot of people are voting that should not vote,” Antonacci said. “The numbers are substantial.” Antonacci did not provide a ballpark figure in this interview.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: SUN-SENTINEL.COM
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