Florida lawmakers on Wednesday passed a new GOP-backed bill that would create the first-ever elections police force, dedicated to election fraud and related crimes.
The bill cleared the Republican-controlled Florida House on Wednesday night after the Senate approved it last week. Both votes fell mostly along party lines.
The measure, which is a lesser version of what Gov. Ron DeSantis initially requested, now heads to his desk for signature, The Hill reports.
The bill would create an Office of Election Crimes and Security made up of a 25-member staff – including 10 law enforcement officers – to investigate allegations of election-related crimes.
It would also make it a felony – rather than a misdemeanor – to collect and deliver more than two mail-in ballots and raise the fine that can be given to third-party voter registration organizations that evade state election law from $1,000 to $50,000.