Gov. DeSantis: Unmonitored ballot dropbox case for new elections integrity unit

Downtown Gov Center Ballot Box TWOFER
The Broward County Supervisor of Elections office said there's nothing to investigate.

For the first time in an election that spreads across the state, it’s no longer legal to drop your ballot off at an unattended ballot box.

This Primary that concludes Aug. 23 is the first for which a new set of Republican-backed election laws are in effect throughout the state.

A photo of a ballot dropbox sitting outside the Broward County Elections Supervisor’s office without official supervision is just the sort of thing that the state’s new elections police unit will be investigating, according to Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The picture is making the rounds on social media sites and the Governor was asked about it at his Thursday news conference.

“If someone wants to return an absentee ballot, they can drop it off at an election site, but where they’re putting in a ballot needs to be monitored by an election official the whole time,” DeSantis said.

He said cases like these should be going to the state’s new Elections Integrity Unit.

“We have investigators, we have law enforcement, we have the ability to work with the Attorney General’s Office with our statewide prosecutor to hold people accountable if they’re not following the rules,” he said.

A spokesman for the Broward Supervisor of Elections said that there’s nothing to investigate — the person monitoring the ballot box was strategically cropped out of the photo.

Javier Manjarres, publisher of The Floridian, which published the photo said he took the picture and there was no monitor within 5 feet of the ballot dropbox.

“The picture speaks for itself,” he said.

Manjarres published the photo below the headline “Democrat Supervisor of Elections Appears to Violate DeSantis Election Law,” with a picture of Broward County Supervisor of Elections Joe Scott, who will soon be conducting his first countywide election on Aug. 23.

Scott’s office was not contacted for the story in The Floridian. Scott’s spokesman, however, said the Elections Supervisor is absolutely following all state laws, although he has publicly said that the recent new regulations will reduce participation in voting.

“Our office adheres to all applicable laws and regulations and has no intention of stepping outside of those boundaries,” wrote Ivan Castro, who works at the office. “It is unlawful to have any location unsupervised therefore it is our policy to mandate each location be assigned with two Supervisor of Elections employees and continuously monitored by at least one of those employees at all times.”

So, even if one of the monitoring employees has to go to the bathroom, the dropbox is still being monitored.

“We will continue to uphold and adhere to all laws relating to elections in the State of Florida,” Castro wrote. 

He sent an email showing The Floridian’s photo and the same scene, including the monitors, from a wider vantage point.

The dropbox monitoring requirement was included in legislation (SB 90) that added new requirements that tightened the handling of ballots in response to concerns about ballot harvesting. The dropbox rules were challenged and one of the provisions that U.S. District Court Judge Mark Walker found was unconstitutional and aimed at limiting voting in a discriminatory way.

The ruling was immediately appealed to the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals and a three-judge panel reinstated its provisions to be in effect for this election, now underway.

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected]


12 comments

  • Don’t Look Up

    August 7, 2022 at 10:02 pm

    Republicans are America’s problem! Vote Republicans out of office.

    • John Dixon

      August 8, 2022 at 2:50 pm

      Child

  • Joe Corsin

    August 7, 2022 at 10:26 pm

    Vote RED for claiming stolen election while trying to steal elections
    Vote RED for right wing police state
    Vote RED for abominable grifting and chicanery
    Vote RED for low wage slavery
    Vote RED for anti-government terrorists ..AkA Taliban for the rich!!!

  • [email protected]

    August 8, 2022 at 12:28 am

    They can spy on the boxes using people in the parking lot with binoculars all they want to. Not gonna help them win elections. With no platform but right wing propaganda and grifting…won’t be long before people get sick of it and give them the boot. Only question is…how low can the hogs go before even the trailer park terrorists get sick of their nonsense and doing nothing for anyone?

  • Tom

    August 8, 2022 at 6:41 am

    Dem Corruption starting early, is Exposed.
    Incest family, don’t look, corsin, idiot Elliot.
    Scum curb craw dads quickly to the defense.

    • Joe Corsin

      August 8, 2022 at 7:31 am

      ^ Fascist crumb bum… babbling brook. Needs medication…

      • Tom

        August 8, 2022 at 7:44 am

        That’s why I am FP legend.
        I own you, Soros Manchurian nation.
        How’s your incest, Craw dad family, LMAO

  • Joe Corsin

    August 8, 2022 at 10:40 am

    ^ I’ve never teenager laugh at their own nonsense and stupidity in such a manner…just no insight. Needs antipsychotic medication…

  • Just a comment

    August 9, 2022 at 10:45 am

    They have all the kings horses and all the kings men but twill humpty Dumpty be better again
    Plus binoculars can give you a nervous breakdown.

  • martin

    August 9, 2022 at 3:56 pm

    vote early, vote often is the rallying cry of the dems. win if you can, lose if you must, but always cheat! Just ask the DNC!

  • Al

    August 13, 2022 at 8:40 pm

    Seriously any One you vote for as of now.. think of business.taxes. and international development
    It is like the one with the most toys wins.

  • Brian

    August 20, 2022 at 10:25 pm

    “…no monitor within 5 feet of the ballot dropbox.”
    FIVE FEET?! Who do they think is watching the dropbox, Mr Magoo? You have to be within FIVE FEET to monitor it?
    What garbage. The statute doesn’t say anything about how close the monitor has to be, and going by the original photo, someone could be 5 and a half feet away and not show up.
    Typical GQP and DeSantis BS.

Comments are closed.


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