In SummaryIf it is passed, it would be the first of its kind in America as critics say it will be used to intimidate voters.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has proposed a plan that would create a special police force to oversee elections in the state, according to The Washington Post.
Even though his fellow Republicans had a lukewarm reaction, voting rights advocates and critics have said that if it becomes law it would be used to threaten voters.
The Office of Election Crimes and Security would be part of the Department of State and answer to the governor. According to The Washington Post, DeSantis is asking the Republican-controlled legislature to administer almost $6 million to hire 52 people to “investigate, detect, apprehend, and arrest anyone for an alleged violation” of election laws.
They would be assigned to unidentified “field offices throughout the state” and respond to tips from government officials. DeSantis talked about his plan as legislators commenced their yearly 60-day session a week ago, according to The Washington Post.
“To ensure that elections are conducted in accordance with the rule of law, I have proposed an election integrity unit whose sole focus will be the enforcement of Florida’s election laws. This will facilitate the faithful enforcement of election laws and will provide Floridians with the confidence that their vote will count,” he said in his State of the State address. “Our constitutional rights have been under assault on a number of fronts and Florida has stood tall in defending the rights of its people.”
Florida’s congressional Democrats are calling on the Justice Department to investigate DeSantis’ call for election police. They wrote, “Harmful proposals to create new partisan bodies to oversee our voting process are exactly the kind of action that demand oversight as we work to ensure that our voting process is unquestionably trustworthy.”