Q&A – Is Governor DeSantis’s Proposed Election Investigation Office Needed?
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Today’s entry: @brianmuddradio I’d like to hear your thoughts about Governor DeSantis’s plan to create a new state office for election integrity and whether it’s needed or not.
Bottom Line: If you read typical news reports you’ll certainly think the idea is absurd. AP’s related story colored most of the coverage of Governor DeSantis’s proposal. In the story entitled: Florida governor calls for election police force, you’ll find this excerpt: Still, without evidence, DeSantis suggested issues at the ballot box. Before digging into my thoughts about the governor’s proposal it’s important to deal with the false narrative advanced by the Associated Press and numerous other media outlets. These dishonest news reports are a rehash of the false narrative advanced during Florida’s passage the new election integrity law. The narrative is as false today as it was then. Among the facts which kill the narrative are these:
- 42 criminal convictions for voter fraud in Florida since 1992
- Broward Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes being removed from office for misfeasance following the 2018 election cycle
- Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher being removed from office for misfeasance following the 2018 cycle
- A straw candidate having been illegally planted in Senate District 37 last year
So once again, anyone who suggests there isn’t evidence of misfeasance and outright fraud – is a fraud. Efforts to undermine elections have provably occurred in every election cycle in the state of Florida since 1992 at a minimum. Before discussing the considerations in play with Governor DeSantis’s new proposal here's a breakdown of what Florida specifically addressed this year with the passage of the now in force election integrity law:
- Private money is banned from use in conducting elections
- Requests for vote by mail ballots have to occur each election cycle with ID required for each request
- Increased the window of time for Supervisors of Elections to begin processing vote-by-mail ballots by up to 40 days before Election Day
- Disallows the printing of a political party on the outside of a vote by mail ballot
- 3rd parties outside of immediate family or caregivers aren’t allowed to collect voter ballots
- Prohibits the use of drop boxes for vote by mail ballots which aren’t supervised by a person
- Drop boxes must be located in locations that are centrally located within a jurisdiction
- Each political party has the ability to observe signature matches certified by canvassing boards
- The no influence zones outside of polling places extend to 150 feet
Now, it’s worth noting that despite the cries by the left of voter suppression and other nonsensical claims, we just held elections in Florida under the new law without a single documented instance of related issues. So, what of the Governor suggesting we need a dedicated election’s oversight office to investigate potential issues? I’m currently skeptical. On one hand, all of the proven instances of misfeasance and fraud I illustrated at the onset are just the ones we know of. It’s arrogant to think that literally every time someone’s attempted to commit fraud, engage in electioneering and other types of misfeasance we’ve busted them. The question then becomes what the view of the possible might be. And for the purpose of the determining whether another office is needed to address these concerns I’d like to hear why the existing state resources aren’t sufficient. That’s the starting point of the conversation for me. The proposal has just been introduced but I believe the case still needs to be made.
What I suspect is happening is that Governor DeSantis is being responsive to wide swaths of our state which aren’t satisfied with Florida’s efforts to improve election integrity this year. Specifically, there’s been a push by a contingent of Floridians to audit Florida’s 2020 election results. As I addressed over a month ago – that's a nonsensical demand. Governor DeSantis agrees and has stated no audit of last year’s results will take place. He’s received pushback for this and I’m wondering if this isn’t his answer to look forward while addressing the future concerns of those not satisfied with last year’s results. In my opinion that’s not a valid reason for creating this office. Hence my previous comments.