FLORIDA (WSAV) — On Monday, Governor Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill (SB) 524, Election Administration. The bill requires voter rolls to be inspected every year and updated, ID requirements to be bolstered, establishes the Office of Election Crimes and Security to investigate election law violations, and increases penalties for violations of election laws. 

With the establishment of the Office of Election Crimes and Security within the Department of State, there is now a dedicated office to investigate all election crimes in the Sunshine State. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement received positions and resources in this year’s budget to support the criminal investigation of election crimes in partnership with the Office of Election Crimes and Security.

A voter list maintenance will be conducted annually by supervisors of elections as part of the bill’s requirement.  

The bill also mandates the Department of State to propose a plan on how to strengthen ID requirements for mail-in ballots. The Department of State must submit a report on the plan and draft legislation for any statutory changes needed to implement the plan by February 1, 2023. 

The plan will include how to prescribe the use of a Florida driver’s license number, Florida identification card number, social security number, or any part thereof to confirm the identity of each elector returning a vote-by-mail-ballot. 

In a tweet on Monday, Governor DeSantis said, “The legislation I signed today will continue to make Florida a leader in election integrity by increasing penalties for ballot harvesting, expanding our ban on Zuckerbucks, and establishing an election integrity unit in state government to enforce our laws.”

“I was grateful to @GovRonDeSantis for signing @FLSenate Bill 524 establishing the Office of Election Crimes and Security and strengthening Florida’s election security measures,” Florida Secretary of State, Laurel M. Lee tweeted on Monday. “We want to ensure that every Floridian can have confidence that in Florida, we do elections right.”.

In March of this year, the House of Representatives voted 76-41 to send Senate Bill 524 to the desk of Governor DeSantis. 

The bill comes just ahead of both, the Republican Party and Democratic Party primaries that will take place on Aug. 23 to determine which candidate will earn the right to run as the party’s nominee in the state’s gubernatorial election on Nov. 8

More information about Senate Bill (SB) 524, Election Administration can be found at 4.25 Election Integrity Handout (flgov.com)

Or visit Governor Ron DeSantis Signs Bill to Strengthen Florida’s Election Integrity (flgov.com).