TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Many voters say they have concerns about the integrity of our elections. With Nov. 3 right around the corner, 8 On Your Side is tracking fraud complaints from the August 2020 primary.
There are more than 21 million people in Florida. However, only 12 Floridians reported alleged fraud in the primary election held on Aug. 18. The numbers show fraud is not widespread but still, 8 On Your Side is digging into every single allegation.
One of the complaints came from Mark Earley, the supervisor of elections in Leon County.
“It does look like fraud was involved to change the party affiliation,” Mr. Earley said.
Right now, there’s an investigation into an organization called New Florida Majority Education Fund. Mr. Earley reported the group, claiming one of their field workers changed a voter’s party affiliation from Republican to Democrat on a registration form.
This initially caused problems in the August primary.
“We managed to actually get it fixed and the voter did vote on the correct ballot,” said Mr. Earley.
8 On Your Side Investigative Reporter Mahsa Saeidi asked if this has been a problem in the past with this organization.
“I have received other complaints from voters for this organization,” Mr. Earley confirmed.
According to Mr. Earley, there have been fewer than 10 complaints. That’s out of the thousands of voter registration applications that have been received from the group.
8 On Your Side called, emailed and left online messages for New Florida Majority Education Fund on Monday to see if they had a response to the complaint.
They responded with a statement on Wednesday saying they would cooperate with the Leon County supervisor to look into the claims.
“New Florida Majority Education Fund is committed to expanding access to voting for eligible Floridians and doing so in accordance with all voter registration laws and regulations. We take these allegations seriously and are conducting an internal investigation to determine the facts and appropriate action,” the statement said. “New Florida Majority Education Fund is dedicated to ensuring the integrity of Florida’s voter registration process, including engaging in robust training and quality control processes to ensure the integrity of the voter registration forms we collect and submit to the Supervisor of Elections. Our organization will work to aid the Leon County Supervisor of Elections in the investigation of the voter registration forms in question.”
In the meantime, Mr. Earley and other officials – including Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren – want to stress fraud is rare in our elections.
“We’re committed – if we had a credible allegation – of prosecuting it but really, the bigger concern is voter suppression,” said Mr. Warren. “No one can even remember an instance of a law enforcement agency or an election authority coming to us and saying ‘hey, we have an allegation or evidence of voter fraud that needs to be investigated and prosecuted.'”
To be clear, no one associated with New Florida Majority Education Fund has been convicted of wrongdoing in this case.
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