Under the direction of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in August arrested 20 people with felony records for breaking Florida’s elections laws during the 2020 election—even after several officials had explicitly told them that they could legally cast ballots. Some fear these public arrests will have a chilling effect on voter turnout in future elections. Already, the 2022 midterms were the first election in Florida’s history in which registered Republicans outpaced Democrats at the voting booth.
“It’s jarring to think about a grandfather getting pulled from his house by SWAT team for voting in our state,” said Neil Volz, deputy director of Florida Rights Restoration Coalition.