One of the 20 people arrested for voting illegally as part of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ effort to crack down on voter fraud had his charges dismissed on Friday.
A Miami state judge threw out the case against Robert Lee Wood, ruling that the statewide prosecutor overseeing all 20 cases had no jurisdiction because the alleged crime did not occur in at least two judicial circuits.
The decision could pave the way for similar findings in some or all of the other cases, though local prosecutors could still choose to refile the charges. Statewide prosecutor Nick Cox said his office would appeal the ruling.
DeSantis, a Republican who is running for re-election as governor on Nov. 8 and is widely thought to be weighing a 2024 presidential campaign, touted the arrests in August as the “first salvo” from his newly created Office of Election Crimes and Security.
The agency, which includes state law enforcement officers, was established amid a nationwide push by Republicans to tighten voting laws in the wake of former President Donald Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was stolen.
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