Investigators in Florida have stopped an attempt to register dead people as Democratic voters, the Associated Press reported Friday.
51 new voter applications were mailed to the Broward County elections office in July, according to the Associated Press report. The applications were sent by someone in Columbia, South Carolina, and each application had the same handwriting on it. (RELATED: Voter Fraud Charges Filed Against Florida Man Who Requested Ballot For Dead Wife)
Broward County elections officials turned over the registrations to the Broward state attorney’s office after flagging them as suspicious.
Authorities uncovered attempt to register dozens of dead people as voters in Broward. Officials said no mail-in ballots were requested w/ falsified voter IDs, but scheme exposes weaknesses in Florida’s voter registration process, @brittanywallman reports.https://t.co/v1mItKUxFX
— Anthony Man (@browardpolitics) October 30, 2020
The state attorney’s office confirmed that 30 of the people listed on the registration applications were dead. Because the applications only had a name and birthday listed, the spaces for driver’s license and social security numbers were left blank. The other 21 people could not have their identities verified, according to an October 22 letter sent by Assistant State Attorney Tim Donnelly.
5 people who were listed on the applications had already been registered to vote, investigators said according to the report, but no absentee ballots had been requested for them. Oct. 24 was the last day to request an absentee ballot. At least 3 of the applicants, two of whom had died in June, were successfully registered in July, the South Florida SunSentinel reported.
“This is an organized effort by someone who knew a little bit about Florida law but not a lot and had a scheme to either undermine the Florida registration system with fake voters or intended to vote 50 times,” Broward Elections Supervisor Pete Antonacci told the SunSentinel.
It appeared that the scammer was taking advantage of the fact that there is some time between when a voter dies and when election officials are notified of that person’s death, Antonacci said. (RELATED: ‘Organized Election Fraud’: 4 People, Including Texas County Commissioner, Charged In Mail Ballot Fraud Scheme)
“The system is based on the honor system, and the honor system is supposedly bolstered by the fact that if you lie on one of these applications, it’s a crime,” he added. “With determination, you can muscle your way in.”
Donnelly said in his letter to Antonacci that the most serious charge could be criminal use of personal identification, which carries a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison, the Associated Press reported.
Broward State Attorney Mike Satz said that they take “any allegation of voter fraud very seriously.”
“Anyone who has information regarding any attempt to commit the crime of voter fraud should report it to the Broward Supervisor of Elections and the Broward State Attorney’s Office so it can be thoroughly investigated,” Satz said.