Attorney George Conway is criticizing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R) plans to establish a police agency to oversee elections in the state.
“It’s all play-acting, it’s performance art,” Conway, who made a name for himself as a high-profile critic of the Trump White House, said during an appearance on CNN’s “New Day” on Wednesday.
The governor’s proposal seeks $6 million to hire 52 people to establish the Office of Election Crimes and Security which would be part of the Florida Department of State. DeSantis wants the office to specifically “investigate, detect, apprehend, and arrest anyone for an alleged violation” of election laws, The Washington Post reported.
“It’s designed for DeSantis to protect himself … so that nobody can accuse him of being soft on the great election fraud, the fraudulent fake election fraud of 2020, and it’s just pathetic,” Conway added on Wednesday, noting that former President Trump won Florida in the previous election.
“This election was just a remarkable feat of democracy. It should’ve been celebrated. We were in the middle of a global pandemic and yet we had the greatest turnout we’ve had in decades,” he also said.
A spokesperson for DeSantis said in an email to The Hill that the governor “does not direct law enforcement in their day-to-day responsibilities, nor would he tell the Office which specific allegations they should or shouldn’t investigate.”
“The governor simply wants to ensure that Floridians will have a clear, straightforward way to report suspected voter fraud, and that a dedicated team of law enforcement personnel can address it in accordance with the law,” the statement added.
DeSantis, who is seen by many as a prospective GOP presidential candidate in 2024, said during his state of the state address that the office would “ensure that elections are conducted in accordance with the rule of law.”
“I propose an election integrity unit whose sole focus will be the enforcement of Florida’s election laws,” he said, according to the Post.
“This will facilitate the faithful enforcement of election laws and will provide Floridians with the confidence that their vote will matter,” the governor added.
—Updated at 12:50 p.m.