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Florida House Lawmaker Calls for Quicker Elections Commission Rulings

A state lawmaker says it should be easier for candidates to get a quick ruling from the Florida Elections Commission when their opponents spread false campaign messages. 

Florida Elections Commission Executive Director Amy Toman fielded questions Thursday from House lawmakers in the Oversight, Transparency & Administration Subcommittee. Vice Chair Blaise Ingoglia says there should be a “fast-track process” for election complaints related to false political advertising. 

“If a candidate sends out something in a mailer that is just inherently false, or post something on social media that is inherently false, that a candidate has the right to petition you all and say 'Hey, this is what was said, this is the proof.' You guys have an immediate hearing [and] compel the person to prove this is true."

Ingoglia, who is also chair of the Florida Republican Party, complained commission rulings often come after voters have made their choice. According to their records, the Elections Commission opened 868 cases in 2016, but closed only 564. It can impose fines of up to $1,000 per violation.