“Florida Senate Passes Voting Bill to Create Election Crimes Agency”


The Florida Senate passed a sweeping new bill overhauling the state’s electoral process, adding new restrictions to the state election code and establishing a law enforcement office dedicated solely to investigating election crimes.

The bill, which passed 24-14, now goes to the state’s House of Representatives, where it could pass as soon as next week and land on the desk of Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, who is expected to sign it. One Republican, State Senator Jeff Brandes, voted against it. A Democratic senator, Loranne Ausley, initially voted yes, but immediately posted on Twitter that she “pushed the wrong button” and has since changed her vote.

Though Republicans in the state had passed another sweeping voting law in May of last year, Mr. DeSantis made election reform one of the top priorities for this legislative session as well. Both efforts come after the 2020 election in Florida was without any major issues, and Republicans in the state touted it as a “gold standard” for election administration.

The legislation is poised to become the first major election-related bill to pass this year in a critical battleground state, and it would indicate no sign of cresting for the wave of new election laws, adding more restrictions to voting, that began last year — with 34 laws passed in 19 states.

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