Governor rebuffs audit of 2020 election

Gov. Ron DeSantis

Florida does not plan to review the 2020 election, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Oct. 12 during an appearance in St. Pete Beach.

“What we do in Florida is, there’s a preand post-election audit that happens automatically,” DeSantis said. “So, that has happened.”  It passed with flying colors in terms of how that’s going.”

DeSantis was asked about an audit because a growing number of Republicans have pushed for a recount of the election that former President Donald Trump won relatively comfortably in Florida – though he lost nationally.

DeSantis noted that Florida took steps to secure the election process after races in 2018, including his own, were closely contested. And he said the state took further actions with a contentious elections bill that the Republican-dominated Legislature passed in April.

“Going forward, we did a great election package,” DeSantis said. “And I think some of the things that we did in there to make sure that there’s a voter ID, for not only inperson, but also when you’re doing absentee voting, also making sure there’s no ballot harvesting – that is totally toxic and that really undermines confidence.”

Challenge to law

The new law (SB 90) is being challenged in court by the Florida State Conference of the NAACP, Disability Rights Florida, the League of Women Voters of Florida, UnidosUS and a number of other organizations that allege changes approved by the Legislature could curtail voting by Black, Latino and disabled residents.

The law set new restrictions on the availability and use of drop boxes, where people can drop off vote-by-mail ballots. Under the law, supervisors of elections must have the boxes staffed at all times and can only use the boxes during early voting hours and at early voting sites. Supervisors who violate the requirement face $25,000 fines. The Lake County Republican Party last month approved resolutions calling for a full audit of the 2020 election.

Meanwhile, state Rep. Anthony Sabatini, R-Howey-in-the-Hills, has filed legislation (HB 99) that would require DeSantis to appoint an independent third party to conduct a forensic audit of the 2020 general election.

An audit this year in Arizona drew controversy but ended up confirming President Joe Biden’s victory over Trump in the state.

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