Q&A – Florida’s Election Crimes Division & Prosecuted Voter Fraud

Q&A of the Day – Florida’s Election Crimes Division & Prosecuted Voter Fraud 

Each day I feature a listener question sent by one of these methods.   

Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com  

Social: @brianmuddradio 

iHeartRadio: Use the Talkback feature – the microphone button on our station’s page in the iHeart app.    

Today’s Entry: Submitted via talkback – asking about previously referred cases of potential voter fraud which had gone unprosecuted by local State attorneys.  

Bottom Line: It’s a good question for a couple of reasons. First, because having a bunch of officially referred but unpursued cases of voter fraud in Florida is unacceptable – even if the volume of votes involved wouldn’t have changed the outcome of any races. Second, because the state of Florida created a new Election Crimes Division at the state level to address alleged cases of voter fraud which weren’t being pursed at the local level. The news flow about the Election Crimes division has been about a quiet as a cold case over the past year. So, let’s get to it, starting with hitting the reset button on what we’re talking about here...  

In late 2021 the Public Interest Legal Foundation produced an eye opening 19-page report on unresolved alleged voter fraud cases in Florida. As evidenced in the PILF’s report, there were 156 pending voter fraud cases in Florida which had been officially referred to prosecutors (meaning by public officials – mostly in law enforcement) but that hadn’t been pursued by prosecutors. That included 12 unprosecuted voter fraud cases in Palm Beach County, 42 in Miami-Dade and 78 in Broward. The types of alleged voter fraud observed and referred were these: 

  • Voting multiple times in a single election 
  • Forging voter signatures 
  • Felon voting without restoration of rights 
  • Non-citizens voting 
  • Votes cast in the names of the deceased 

Upon reading the report I teamed with J Christian Adams and his team at the Public Interest Legal Foundation to attempt to get answers as to why these referred cases weren’t being pursued by local prosecutors. The prosecutors specifically in question regarding these unpursued cases were/are Harold Pryor in Broward, Katherine Fernandez-Rundle in Miami-Dade and Dave Aronberg in Palm Beach County. But after two months and repeated attempts to get answers – or any type of on the record response from these prosecutors – it became clear they wouldn’t be forthcoming with an answer as to why they’d looked the other way on these cases. I, nor the PILF, received so much as a courtesy message from the office of any of those officials. This despite having had open communication with two of the state attorneys, Aronberg and Fernandez-Rundle, on other matters previously. 

After the stonewalling by the state attorneys – we turned our efforts to the state and advocated for the state to step in and pursue the cases local prosecutors wouldn’t touch. This culminated in the form of legislation which soon thereafter established Florida’s Election Crimes Division. The law and the new unit gained national attention as the usual election integrity opponents derided its creation (while still to this day never addressing why it’s acceptable to have officially referred cases of voter fraud that go unprosecuted). Led by Peter Antonacci, the former DeSantis appointed Broward Supervisor of Elections, who quickly and successfully restored integrity to Broward’s elections following the debacle of Brenda Snipes (and who was my top choice as I’d worked closely with him during his time in Broward), the Division quickly announced charges in 20 of the 156 cases. The ball was rolling. But then, only a month later, the sad and highly unexpected struck. Peter died of a heart attack. Losing a strong leader of a new state agency no doubt had a profound impact on the state division. That takes us to where we stand today. 

The Election Crimes Division, which is understaffed, more on that in a moment, has focused on the initial 20 cases Antonacci picked to pursue. To date, eleven of those cases have come to a conclusion with seven felony voter fraud convictions and four cases being dismissed by judges. So, in its infancy, the state has a 64% success rate on cases they’ve pursued. Conveniently, that information doesn’t make the news. The biggest current challenge in making additional headway stems from the aforementioned staffing challenges. The office has 18 full-time positions, however seven of those positions are currently vacant. Those include key positions of program director, assistant director and senior attorney. Until those leadership positions are filled it’s unlikely that additional meaningful progress, beyond the resolution of the initial 20 cases brought, will take place. Peter Antonacci was a great man and truly dedicated public official, had it not been for his sudden and untimely passing I have no doubt much greater progress would have been made. Hopefully someone just as passionate about election integrity steps up sooner than later.  

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