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Florida election crimes office issues nearly 1,500 referrals in its first year

A poll worker directs voters at an early voting site, Monday, Oct. 31, 2022, in Miami. Midterm elections are Nov. 8.
Lynne Sladky
/
AP
A poll worker directs voters at an early voting site, Monday, Oct. 31, 2022, in Miami.

The Florida Office of Election Crimes and Security made 1,479 criminal referrals during its first year, with 13 resulting in felony convictions, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration said Friday.

DeSantis and the Republican-controlled Legislature last year created the controversial office at the Department of State. It drew heavy attention in August, when 20 felons were charged with illegally voting during the 2020 elections, though judges rejected some of those cases.

A news release Friday from the DeSantis administration said the office has reviewed the registrations of more than 3,500 organizations that help register people to vote and issued fines to 39.

The office has drawn opposition from Democrats, who have contended it is an attempt to intimidate minority voters.

The Legislature included $1.4 million for the office in the 2023-2024 state budget, which took effect July 1. That was up from $1.2 million in the 2022-2023 fiscal year.

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