The Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) released a new paper on Wednesday highlighting the success of Florida’s Office of Election Crimes and Security within the Florida Department of State—and how other states can see similar success with their own election crimes units codified into state law.
According to the paper, Florida’s successful policy consists of three key elements:
- Create a unit dedicated to investigating election crimes.
- Investigate alleged election law violations and refer for prosecution.
- Increase transparency by providing a report to both the legislature and the public.
Other states, including Virginia and Texas, have taken similar steps to create election crimes units within their attorneys general offices, and Ohio through its secretary of state’s office, but still need to codify them into law to prevent political changes from stopping their work.
“Public confidence in America’s elections is low, but doesn’t need to stay that way,” said Michael Greibrok, FGA Senior Research Fellow. “Creating election crimes units, pursuing prosecution of election crimes, and making this information public can make a world of difference. Florida’s approach is the gold standard, and states can learn a lot from the Sunshine State’s work to hold election violators accountable in such a transparent way.”
“Election crimes chip away at voter confidence in elections, and violators should be held accountable,” said Madeline Malisa, FGA Senior Fellow. “Election crimes units are a commonsense, straightforward way to signal to criminals, state leaders, and the public alike that the state takes election crimes seriously and will not tolerate them. It’s encouraging to see the success that Florida’s had with their strategy, and I hope to see more states replicate it for their own election crimes units.”