In a stop-the-presses news release issued this evening, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement announced the arrest of 17 people for voter fraud during the primary and general elections of 2020.
The general election drew 11.145 million voters, the primary drew 3.896 million, for a combined total of 15.041 million votes cast. The 17 arrests means that Florida had an astoundingly low rate of fraud of precisely 0.000001%. That’s not particularly surprising to elections observers: fraud in American elections is statistically non-existent, fabrications and conspiracy theories to the contrary. A former president who lost by 7 million votes to this day claims that his election was “stolen.”
The arrests were in just five counties–three in Miami-Dade, three in Broward, three in Palm Beach, three in Orange, six in Hillsborough, and none in Florida’s 62 other counties, including Flagler. It is not clear how the 17 arrested broke down between Republican, Democrats and Independents.
The 17 arrested were obviously not part of an organized effort. Rather, they were either convicted murderers or convicted sex offenders. While 64 percent of voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2018 to restore felons’ right to vote after they have served their sentence and paid their fines, the amendment made an exception for two categories of crimes: murders and felony sex offenses. The almost infinitesimal number of individuals who slip through is surprising only to the extent that more fall-through-the-cracks voters might have been expected but for the vigilance of supervisors of elections.
Ironically, the 17 arrested in Florida–the nation’s third-most populous state–is the identical number of individuals arrested in Texas–the nation’s second-most populous state–by that state’s “election integrity unit” in 2020.
Still, the release today seemed to take a more alarmist view. “In 2020, Florida ran an efficient, transparent election that avoided the major problems we saw in other states. At the same time, the election was not perfect, which is why we continue our efforts to ensure the integrity of our elections,” Gov. Ron DeSantis was quoted as saying. “Our new election crimes office has sprung into action to hold individuals accountable for voter fraud. Today’s actions send a clear signal to those who are thinking about ballot harvesting or fraudulently voting. If you commit an elections crime, you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
The “election crime office” is one of a spate of new such policing forces established particularly in Republican, ostensibly fiscally conservative states, to tackle, at significant cost to taxpayers, essentially non-existent voter fraud. The election policing unit is, in fact, only a small part of the effort to find ghost fraud. The multi-county investigation was initiated in conjunction with the Florida Department of State and Office of Statewide Prosecution, the FDLE’s release stated.
State officials rallied around DeSantis’s momentous achievement. “Today is about our honest, hardworking and law-abiding Floridians,” said FDLE Acting Commissioner Mark Glass. “In Florida, your vote matters. To that end, we will do everything in our power to ensure those who cannot legally vote never cast a ballot.”
“I am grateful to Governor DeSantis for establishing the Office of Election Crimes and Security, and we are off to a great start at eliminating election fraud in our elections,” said Secretary of State and Chief Election Officer Cord Byrd. “These arrests put those who have no regard for the integrity our elections on notice and will ensure integrity in the voting process.”
Those arrested face third-degree felony charges of making a “false affirmation” and of voting as an unqualified elector. A few more arrests may be expected, but not enough to change the statistical proportions of voter fraud in the state.
R. S. says
Does this also count?
MIAMI – Miami-Dade Elections Department 2021-22 records show more than 5,000 registered Democrats switched their party affiliation to Republican.
The increase comes just as more victims of third-party registrations are coming forward to report that their voter registration was altered without their permission.
All of the victims were older than 65 years old, live in Miami-Dade County, and all of them were outraged when they learned they were registered as Republicans.
desantis has no substance. I have not yet heard him even mention an issue affecting quality of life in Florida. He has spent 4 years as governor doing nothing but waging culture wars as he makes up new issues to replace old depleted ones. Meantime Florida is losing teachers hand over fist. Soon there will be no one to teach what 2+2 equals.
Been There says
He purposefully trying to cripple the public school system so he can privatize education.
The election crimes office is a waste of taxpayers’ money/ He spends freely if he thinks it will help his chances to be president. This f stain has been running for president since the day he was elected governor. He really doesn’t give a crap about the people of Florida he just wants to move up the ladder. Additionally, is he really experienced enough to be president? He was in state congress ( 1 term maybe) then Governor of Florida (which he hasn’t done much except try to make his name well known.
These are my opinions and views of him. I really hope Nikki wins the Democrat nomination. The power-hungry politicians need to go.
Just some numbers from another article regarding Herr DeSantis : (This one comes from an out-of-state newspaper, actually) –
“Such as the fact that DeSantis’ Office of Election Crimes and Security — like so much that the Florida governor does, a dangerous escalation of the GOP’s long-running war on voting rights into straight-up authoritarian territory — has spent $3.9 million in taxpayer dollars to find alleged fraud in less than 0.0002% of the 11 million votes cast in the Sunshine State. The outlay is about $195,000 for each allegation.”
Timothy Patrick Welch says
Mr. DeSantis’s has increased State government overreach and control… Bad
Mr. DeSantis has limited Federal governed overreach and control… Good
Question is, how would he execute as POTUS?
The Truth says
Let’s hope we don’t have to find out how he would execute as POTUS. This man is a clown show, much like his orange father.
Deborah Coffey says
No question: He’s execute just like the Fascist he is. The Federal Government is us!
.000001% and he has to have a grandiose posing moment using law enforcement officers. Where was his posing moment with law enforcement when residents of The Villages were charged with voter fraud?
20 only the tip of the iceberg!
DeSantis goes after Micky and Minnie, then finds 17 possible fraudulent votes. Seventeen. Whatta guy! I’m so impressed! So, it doesn’t say here whether all 17 possible fraudulent votes were for Biden or not, but lets pretend it was and all 17 voters are proven guilty. I say give the 17 votes to Trump, not that he deserves them, but because it won’t make a bit of difference in the election but Republicans think it will. Make ’em happy. Oh, and a possible 17 more in Texas. Both Texas and Florida Republican states that voted for Trump. Hmmmmmmm. I suppose that if Republicans had total and complete control of the vote, there would be zero fraud, and zero votes for Democrats.
Now, can we move on to something really important?
What an incredible waste of time and money! DeSantis is just sucking up to the republican party by keeping election fraud and the Trump lie in front of the public. He is also trying to establish a national profile for his next political move, the presidency. Florida politicians are the worst. They care only for themselves and the next position that will line their pockets – wake up and get them all out.
Deborah Coffey says
I don’t know about the ex-felons that may have voted but here are 4 Republicans that DID! https://www.wfla.com/news/politics/4th-resident-of-the-villages-arrested-for-voter-fraud/
Well, actually, DeSantis found 17 fraudulent votes by ex felons. Killed two birds with one stone! Whataguy!
Le Tish says
Commit voter fraud as a felon, go directly to jail. Commit fraud on your law enforcement application about your felony, keep your Broward Sheriff job. Not all pay the same price.