A lot needs to be done before voters head to the polls for the August primaries, which will likely be their first time casting a ballot since the polarizing 2020 election.
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Seminole County Supervisor of Elections Chris Anderson joined anchor Justin Warmoth on “The Weekly” to discuss how his department is working through some of the challenges.
“We’ve taken steps here in our office to make sure voters understand that elections in 2020 were fair, they were safe and they were secure,” Anderson said. “What I’ve seen and what I believe is the concerns are coming from misinformation. It’s coming from what they’re seeing on social media.”
Gov. Ron DeSantis recently signed a sweeping voting overhaul bill that establishes a new election police force to investigate voting-related complaints, including fraud.
Out of the nearly 11 million ballots cast in Florida during the 2020 election, there were 262 election fraud complaints, according to Florida’s Secretary of State, 75 of which were sent to prosecutors or law enforcement.
“As we look at 21st century elections, I hope this unit won’t just be focused on being reactive, but also being proactive in addressing a lot of the issues we have,” Anderson said. “Voter fraud is a very small fraction, but it’s an important piece that still needs to be addressed.”
Election misinformation has no doubt increased the country’s political divisiveness and hostility. Anderson, who has a law enforcement background, said he’s even received death threats over the last two years.
“It’s been a very stressful time for all elections officials, including myself,” Anderson said. “Some people might say that’s what you signed up for, and I would argue against that. Our jobs allow folks to make choices and those choices are not controlled by us.”
Watch the full interview in the video player above.