WATCH LIVE: DeSantis announces that 20 people have been charged with election fraud, investigation ongoing

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is in Fort Lauderdale announcing that the state is charging 20 people with election fraud.

Joining DeSantis at the Broward County Courthouse are Attorney General Ashley Moody, Secretary of State Cord Byrd, Peter Antonacci, the election crimes and security officer, and Mark Glass, acting commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

“All of the supervisors are going to be informed that the 2020 election records are preserved,” said DeSantis. “Everyone will be on notice.”

“We also have folks that are voting that are illegal aliens,” DeSantis said. He said the 20 people charged with election fraud had criminal records. Behind DeSantis were more than a dozen Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies.

“The State of Florida takes elections seriously,” said Moody.

Antonacci, who was appointed by DeSantis in July as the first Director of the Office of Election Crimes and Security, is a former Broward County Supervisor of Elections.

The director of the Office of Election Crimes and Security is housed within the Florida Department of State.

In March, the Florida House passed a bill that created a new state office dedicated to investigating election crimes. The bill passed the GOP-controlled House along party lines and DeSantis signed it into law.

“This is just the first step,” DeSantis said. “There are going to be foreign nationals. We want the federal government to be working constructively on this and so far that has not been the case. We have an obligation to make sure that U.S. citizens are voting.”

DeSantis addressed rumors that he had come to Fort Lauderdale to take to task Broward County’s Supervisor of Elections, Joe Scott. He said that was not the case.

DeSantis, a Republican, became governor on Jan. 8, 2019. His term ends on Jan. 3, 2023, and he is running for re-election.

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