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Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., claimed that Florida‘s new police force dedicated to voter fraud and other crimes related to elections will be used to “intimidate, harass, and punish poor and Black voters.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill on Monday that establishes an “Office of Election Crimes and Security” which is dedicated to investigating voter fraud allegations.
Omar said in a tweet on Wednesday that the new police force will be used to target Black voters, adding that “voter fraud is about as common as getting struck by lightning.”
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., is claiming that Florida’s new police force dedicated to voter fraud and other crimes related to elections will be used to “intimidate, harass, and punish poor and Black voters.” (Drew Angerer/Getty Images and Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
“Reminder that voter fraud is about as common as getting struck by lightning. As a force to investigate it, this police unit will be useless. As a force to intimidate, harass, and punish poor and Black voters, I’m sure they’ll be very helpful,” Omar said.
The law, S.B. 524 also increases ballot harvesting penalties to a third-degree felony, which can be punishable by up to five years in prison.
The bill also does not allow election supervisors to receive money from the Zuckerberg-Chan Initiative, or so-called “Zuckerbucks,” which gave over $350 million to local state jurisdictions in order to allegedly help counties operate their elections safely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bryan Griffin, deputy secretary for the Florida governor’s office told Fox News Digital that Omar is making a “dishonest straw man argument.”
“Rep. Omar is making a dishonest straw man argument here, which is of course right in line with the leftist talking points on election integrity,” Griffin said. “Fraud is the real voter suppression, because it invites undue, outside influence into the election process and jeopardizes the fundamental American assurance that everyone gets one equal vote.”
He described Omar’s argument of election fraud being “as common as getting struck by lightning” as illogical.
“They base this claim on a lack of prosecutions, but this is illogical. There are so few experts in identifying and prosecuting election fraud (and the fraud schemes are often quite sophisticated) that the rarity of fraud convictions is more often attributable to the capacity to catch fraud, not the lack of its existence,” Griffin said. “In Florida, Governor DeSantis is leading the way in making it easier to vote and harder to cheat, and election integrity protects every legal voter’s rights.”
In this April 20, 2021, file photo Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., speaks in Brooklyn Center, Minn., during a news conference at the site of the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright by a police officer during a traffic stop. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
DeSantis said on Monday that the bill would help “continue to make Florida a leader in election integrity.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis addresses a joint session of a legislative session, Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022, in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
“The legislation I signed today will continue to make Florida a leader in election integrity by increasing penalties for ballot harvesting, expanding our ban on Zuckerbucks, and establishing an election integrity unit in state government to enforce our laws,” DeSantis wrote.
Fox News’ Lorriane Taylor contributed to this report.