Monday, October 22, 2012

Florida Voter Fraud or Intimidation Cases Reported

TALLAHASSEE, Florida – Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner is reminding Floridians to be vigilant this election season and immediately report any potential cases of voter fraud or intimidation. Examples of suspicious activity can include letters or phone calls about voter eligibility or voting locations or suspicious requests regarding absentee ballots. 


"The Florida Department of State unequivocally opposes all attempts at voter fraud or intimidation and will pursue every avenue to ensure free, fair and open elections for all eligible voters," said Secretary of State Ken Detzner. "Voter fraud and intimidation can deny voters their voice in government and will not be tolerated. I am hopeful that vigilant Floridians will help us identify suspicious activity by calling Florida's voter fraud hotline at 1-877-868-3737."


The Department of State's Division of Elections is currently investigating allegations of a person or group impersonating Florida's supervisors of elections and fraudulently indicating that some voters may be ineligible to vote. If any voter receives a fraudulent letter with questionable identification from an elections supervisor, he or she should immediately contact their supervisor of elections. County supervisors of elections can confirm a voter's information is current and accurate, as well as report any criminal acts to the appropriate authorities. Other reported activity to the Division of Elections includes phone calls about casting a ballot by phone and wrong voting hours. The division has already forwarded cases of dual registration and double voting to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate, as well as cases regarding illegal voter registration activity.


As of 4:30 p.m. on Monday, October 22, 2012, Brevard County Supervisor of Elections Lori Scott told Brevard Times that 4 suspicious letters have been reported in Brevard County, Florida.  All of the Brevard voters who received the letters were white, 3 Republican, one non-party affiliation, and located in Melbourne, Florida or the south Brevard County beaches.  None of the recipients have Hispanic surnames. Scott did not know the ethnicity or the surnames of the recipients in the other Florida counties who recieved the letters.


Although the state-wide investigation is ongoing, and the county-by-county details may not be forthcoming for a statewide reporting right away, so far preliminary indications are that it is predominately Republican voters statewide who have reported receiving these letters according to Florida Secretary of State Press Secretary Chris Cate.
 

The Department of State's Division of Elections conducts preliminary investigations into voter fraud in conjunction with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. If probable cause is found that a violation occurred, the findings are reported to the statewide prosecutor or the state attorney for the judicial circuit in which the alleged violation occurred. A person who commits or attempts to commit any fraud in connection with voting, votes a fraudulent ballot, or votes more than once in an election can be convicted of a felony of the third degree and fined up to $5,000 and/or imprisoned for up to 5 years. Certain repeat offenses carry higher penalties.


Floridians with any information about these cases or any other suspicious elections activity should call Florida's toll-free voter fraud hotline at 1-877-868-3737. Elections fraud complaint forms can also be found online at http://election.dos.state.fl.us/rules/adopted-rules/pdf/dsde34.pdf. For more information on how to file a voter fraud complaint, please visit http://election.dos.state.fl.us/fraud.shtml

Florida’s voter fraud hotline is toll-free 1-877-868-3737