More people are likely to be charged with voter fraud in Alachua County following an investigation by election officials.
In a letter to the state attorney for the Eighth Judicial Circuit, Brian Kramer, Alachua County Supervisor of Elections Kim Barton says that nine people who are convicted sexual offenders voted illegally in the 2020 general election.
“This documentation clearly shows that these voters were not eligible to cast a ballot in the 2020 General Election under Florida Statute 98.0751 and should not have been registered to vote under the laws of the state of Florida and Amendment 4 due to their convictions of felony sexual offenses,” Barton wrote.
Earlier charges stemmed from voter registration in jail
Barton’s letter, dated July 19, 2022, is the latest in a string of events that have led to multiple people being charged and convicted for voter crimes following a voter registration drive held at the Alachua County jail in 2020. That prompted a series of complaints lodged by Gainesville database researcher Mark Glaeser who identified potentially hundreds of illegal ballots cast by inmates around the state.
Unlike others previously charged, however, the latest group that may be charged cannot cite Amendment 4 as a defense because they are registered sex offenders.
The passage of Amendment 4, which in 2018 was approved by nearly two-thirds of Florida voters, was supposed to restore voting rights to people with felony convictions, except those convicted of murder or sexual offenses, who had completed their sentences. Subsequent changes about paying all fines, court cases and sentencing requirements confused many leading into 2020.
Florida law charges local election officials with determining voter eligibility, but Alachua County election officials failed to do so in cases stemming from Glaeser’s research.
Those investigated by Barton’s office have all been convicted of sexual offenses involving either sexual battery/lewd molestation on a minor, possession of child pornography or traveling to a minor to commit an unlawful sexual offense.
“I submit my findings to your office with supporting documentation that indicates there is probable cause to believe a crime has been committed,” Barton wrote to Kramer.
In an email to Glaeser, Kramer acknowledged receipt of the most recent cases forwarded by Barton and says that his office is now evaluating whether charges will be filed.
“We have opened these cases in our case management system for further investigation, and filing of criminal charges if appropriate,” Kramer wrote.