Election officials reported an attempt to register more than a dozen deceased as Democratic voters in Florida.
The fraud program included at least 54 new voter registration applications submitted to the Broward County Elections Office in July by an unidentified individual in Columbia, South Carolina. Officials said the applications-several, found in 19 envelopes in August-all had the same handwriting.
Many of the registered persons were elderly, and more than a dozen had recently died in Virginia or the Northeastern United States. All applications were filed with addresses in the same neighborhood in Davie, Florida, although the investigation found that none of the dead or fraudulent applicants had any connection to these addresses. The driver’s license and social security numbers were left blank on all applications.
The spokesman for the Broward County Supervisor of Elections, Steven Vancore, told Tekk.tv that no ballots were requested or submitted by mail under the fake voter identification cards. Nearly all of the requests were marked as suspicious and handed over to the Broward County Prosecutor’s Office for investigation.
In a letter that Tekk.tv received from the Broward Prosecutor’s Office to Broward Supervisor of Elections Peter Antonacci, 30 of 51 originally flagged applicants were verified as deceased. Five of the applicants were active, which means that they were already registered as eligible to vote in the system, and according to Vancore, applications for fraudulent change of address were likely to have been filed. None of the identified active registrations applied for a postal vote as of August 14. The deadline for requesting a postal vote in the state was October 24.
Three other fake IDs that had escaped detection in July and were subsequently added to Broward’s voter list were uncovered by the Sun-Sentinel newspaper that week after a man from Davie, who had received three mysterious voter IDs in the mail, tipped them off.
The man researched the names on the cards to find out that they had all died – including a 104-year-old woman from Naples who had no connection to Broward County and died in June, according to Sun-Sentinel.
Vancore noted that there is always a delay between the death of a person and the polling station system, which automatically searches the files every two weeks and determines that he died. He noted that the person seemed to understand this gap and knew when to complete voter registration.
He said the system proved that it was easy to register someone to vote in Florida, but much harder to complete the actual voting process. Registration in this manner would classify the voter as a MARG or “mail registrant” who did not present proof of identity. If newly registered voters intended to vote either in person or by mail, they would have had to present proof of identity before submitting the ballot.
“It is not difficult to register. But if you register and are a MARG voter, it will be noted in the record and you will always have to show photo identification when you actually vote,” Vancore said. “So that person could not vote until he or she presented an ID card.”
Vancore said, however, that the fact that none of the fake IDs could be used to vote or even request an absentee ballot proves that the system worked as intended.
In a follow-up letter from the prosecutor’s office, Deputy District Attorney Timothy Donnelly requested in August that all identified forged registration files be activated by the polling station to locate the person responsible and investigate whether he or she was trying to obtain ballots for the November general election. The envelopes were postmarked from South Carolina, but no sender was indicated.
Donnelly also mentioned that several criminal offenses had been committed, including the criminal use of personal identification information.
He wrote that if the person is convicted of fraudulent use of the personal identification information of 30 or more deceased persons, the prescribed minimum sentence is 10 years in prison.
“Hopefully the prosecutor will take this case seriously and will pursue and prosecute it,” Vancore said. “Well, it’s a matter that crosses the boundaries of jurisdiction. They found out it was in South Carolina, so it won’t be an easy case for them to prosecute him.