Election cops to hit the beat in Florida. Will other states follow?

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed a bill to create a police force dedicated to pursuing voter fraud and other election crimes.

The Republican governor signed the bill into law Monday. The law creates an Office of Election Crimes and Security under the Florida Department of State to review fraud allegations and conduct preliminary investigations.

DeSantis is required to appoint a group of special officers from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement who would be tasked with pursuing the election law violations. Voter fraud is rare, typically occurs in isolated instances and is generally detected.

The push to crack down on election related crimes comes as former President Donald Trump, the standard bearer in the Republican Party, continues to mislead the public about the results of the election he lost in 2020.

Although Trump has alleged fraud in several swing states, he has produced no hard evidence to show fraud on a scale that would have tipped the election away from the victor, President Joe Biden.

Most of the law’s provisions took effect as soon as the governor’s pen hit paper. That means DeSantis’ own reelection will be governed by its provisions.

Republicans nationwide have stressed the need to restore public confidence in elections and have passed several voting laws in the past two years aimed at placing new rules around mail and early voting methods that were popular in 2020.

Full reports from Associated Press and the Tampa Bay Times