Police video shows election fraud arrests by Ron DeSantis election police

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A bewildered man outside his Tampa home asked police why they would arrest him for voting after the state cleared him to vote.

A woman seated inside a patrol car told officers she was told she could legally vote after serving her sentence.

A handcuffed man told police he was asked to complete a voter registration form after completing his probationary period.

They are among 20 people arrested Aug. 18 in Florida for alleged voter fraud in the 2020 election, according to new police body camera footage shown on Tampa Bay Times broadcasts. At a press conference later in the day, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) praised the Florida Office of Election Crimes and Security, the election police force he created over baseless allegations of fraud mass voter, for arresting those he claimed to have illegally registered or marked. their ballots. All, he swore, would “pay the price”.

As The Washington Post previously reported, those arrested — most of whom are black — are all charged with violating a state law barring those convicted of murder or felony sex offenses from voting after served their sentence. The arrests, The Post reported, raised questions about whether DeSantis and his election police unit were weaponizing their newfound powers for political advantage.

In videos obtained by the Tampa Bay Times, those arrested appear puzzled as local and state police show up at their homes to execute the warrants. Authorities were also at times confused when answering questions from those in custody, footage shows.

Florida let them vote. Then the DeSantis election police arrested them.

A spokesperson for the governor’s office did not immediately respond to a Post message seeking comment after the videos were released.

All have been charged with voter fraud, a third-degree felony in the state, and face a $5,000 fine and up to five years in prison. Several of those charged told the Post earlier this year that election officials and voter registration groups led them to believe they were eligible to vote after the state’s 2018 amendment to restore the criminals’ right to vote. Some of their attorneys said Florida appeared to be targeting its clients for honestly misunderstanding the law.

In one of the videos obtained by the Tampa Bay Times, a frustrated man in handcuffs outside his home complained about the people responsible for determining who can vote in the state.

“What’s wrong with this state, man?” said the man. “Vote fraud? Y’all said anyone with a felony could vote, man.”

Tim Craig and Lori Rozsa contributed to this report.

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