Ken Blackwell is Senior Fellow for Human Rights and Constitutional Governance at Family Research Council. This article appeared in The Washington Examiner on February 1, 2022.
The Left and their liberal media allies love to point to the low number of election crimes prosecuted as proof that there is little to no voter fraud. They claim these low figures prove we have secure elections and that we do not need election integrity reforms.
There is one major problem with this argument. Far too often, county election supervisors refer election crimes to county prosecutors, and these referrals gather dust. Prosecuting election crimes requires resources, time, and expertise of election law that most local county prosecutors do not have. Prosecutors also face political pressure to not prosecute election crime cases.
The Public Interest Legal Foundation released a report that details this problem in Florida. From public records requests, the report documented at least 156 case referrals from just nine supervisors of elections that were made to prosecutors in and around the 2020 election cycle. These crimes include noncitizens voting, double voting, and assuming another voter’s name. Of those 156 referrals, it appears not a single case was ever prosecuted by county prosecutors.
There is no deterrence in a system where election criminals know there is no chance of being prosecuted, even after getting caught. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis understands this problem. He has proposed that the state create an election crimes agency that would “investigate election crimes and irregularities and make referrals for further legal action directly to a statewide prosecutor.”
This proposal will help to fix the problem of county prosecutors failing to pursue election crimes. This is a commonsense plan to strengthen the integrity of our elections. Unfortunately, the plan has been met with criticism and ridicule by some in the media.
The data and facts prove that election crimes are occurring and not being prosecuted. Moreover, the problem of election crimes not being prosecuted exists not just in Florida but across the county. Another report released by the foundation found over 144,000 cases of potential election crimes nationwide in 2016 and 2018.
Fair and honest elections are essential in a democratic republic. Other governors should follow DeSantis’s lead.