FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (HPD) — A court has thrown out a third case involving a person arrested by election police created by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Republican-controlled state legislature.
Terry Hubbard, 63, was among 20 people arrested last August on charges of illegal voting, in what was the first action by the controversial new Office of Election Security.
A Broward County judge dismissed the case, saying the state’s attorney’s office has no jurisdiction because it can only bring charges for crimes committed in two or more counties. Two other cases were annulled for similar reasons.
The election police drew harsh criticism from Democrats and voting rights groups, who believe it could be used as a political tool by the governor.
Among those arrested in August were some convicted of murder or sexual offenses, and therefore exempt from the constitutional amendment that restored the right to vote to some criminals. Most of those people were from Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties, where there is a strong Democratic presence.
DeSantis, mentioned as a possible 2024 presidential candidate, pushed the legislature to create election police amid allegations of fraud that have mushroomed among Republicans, particularly in the wake of former President Donald Trump’s false claims that he won the election.
Cases of electoral fraud in the United States are unusual, occur in isolated events and are generally detected. An Associated Press investigation into the 2020 election found fewer than 475 potential cases of fraud, among 25.5 million ballots cast in the six states that Trump and his allies say they won. DeSantis has in the past praised Florida for running a smooth election in 2020.