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DeSantis names election security office head

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Gov. Ron DeSantis has named former deputy attorney general and statewide prosecutor Peter Antonacci to serve as director of the Election Crimes and Security Office. Housed within the Florida Department of State, the Office is charged with investigating all election crimes in Florida and with implementing measures aimed at election security in the state.

The Office of Election Crimes and Security was created during the last legislative session as SB 254, the Election Administration bill. The measure also increases the frequency that election supervisors must review their lists of registered voters, increases penalties for ballot harvesting, and prohibits the placement of unsecured ballot drop boxes throughout the state.

DeSantis signed SB 524 into law on April 25 during a signing ceremony at Rookies Sports Bar and Grill in Spring Hill.

He announced Antonacci’s appointment on July 6.

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“Peter Antonacci has dedicated his career to serving the state of Florida,” DeSantis said in making the appointment. “I am confident he will lead the Office of Election Crimes and Security with integrity and ensure that Florida’s elections are the most secure in the nation.”

Meanwhile, the appointment drew praise from Florida Sheriff’s Association (FSA) Executive Director Steve Casey.

“Election crimes have deep impacts on the security of our state and our nation and investigating them is a very complex matter that sheriffs in our state have a responsibility to address,” Carey said. “The sheriffs look forward to working in partnership with the new agency in carrying out their responsibilities under law.”

Before heading the new Office of Election Crimes and Security Antonacci served as Deputy Attorney General of Florida under former Attorney General Bob Butterworth, General Counsel to former Governor Rick Scott, and most recently Director and Chief Judge of the Division of Administrative Hearings.

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