State law enforcement units tasked with investigating voter fraud complaints found little evidence of fraud in the midterm elections, The Associated Press reports.
Voter fraud cases are already investigated and prosecuted on the local level but Florida, Georgia and Virginia created state-level units after the 2020 election amid pressure from Republican governors and lawmakers.
The new units found little evidence of fraud in the election earlier this month.
“I am not aware of any significant detection of fraud on Election Day, but that’s not surprising,” Paul Smith, senior vice president of the Campaign Legal Center, told the AP. “The whole concept of voter impersonation fraud is such a horribly exaggerated problem. It doesn’t change the outcome of the election, it’s a felony, you risk getting put in jail and you have a high possibility of getting caught. It’s a rare phenomena.”
Georgia lawmakers gave the state Bureau of Investigation the authority to investigate alleged election fraud.
A spokesman for the agency told the AP that it has not launched any investigations under the new law.
“In this situation, there was no actual problem to be solved,” Democratic state Rep. Jasmine Clark told the AP. “This was a solution looking for a problem, and that’s never the way that we should legislate.”
Florida created an Office of Election Crimes and Security earlier this year under the Florida Department of State.
DeSantis over the summer announced the unit arrested 20 people for illegally voting after being convicted of a felony without paying off required fines, fees or restitution.
Courts have already dismissed multiple cases.
“We’ve heard stories about voters who are eligible to vote but have a criminal conviction in their past, and they are now scared to register and vote,” Michael Pernick, a voting rights attorney with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, told the AP.
Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares announced in September that he would form an Election Integrity Unit to “work to help restore confidence in our democratic process in the Commonwealth.”
A spokesperson told the AP that it had received complaints stemming from the midterms but could not comment on whether any investigations had been launched.