Multiple people throughout Florida who'd been disqualified from voting because of felony convictions are facing voter fraud charges, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Thursday.
DeSantis made the announcement during a news conference at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale.
Some of the 20 people facing charges were from South Florida and were convicted of murder and sexual assault, which prohibits them from having their voting rights restored, DeSantis said.
“The majority of these people voted illegally in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade,” he said.
DeSantis said if convicted they face up to five years in prison.
"That is against the law and now they're gonna pay the price for it," DeSantis said.
DeSantis did not elaborate because he said the cases were still under investigation.
Florida Department of Law Enforcement acting Commissioner Mark Glass said agents were making arrests Thursday morning.
“There will be more arrests to come,” he said. “And, anyone who’s thinking about engaging in illegal ballot harvesting or other election crimes, don’t do it, because we’re coming at you.”
The arrests are among the first investigations and enforcement actions undertaken by Florida's Office of Election Crimes and Security.
DeSantis also said the state would target ballot harvesting, unsolicited mail-in ballots, the authentication of mail-in ballots, ballots cast from other states, counties that don’t “clean their voter rolls” of deceased or absent voters every year, and what he called Zuckerbucks, a reference to money Facebook founder and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg donated to local election offices in advance of the 2020 elections.
“The group providing the money brought in their people to run the election, effectively,” he said, to applause. “So, it was the commandeering of the actual machinery of the elections.”