TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Tampa woman who is facing charges of illegally voting in the 2020 election said she received a sample ballot in the mail to vote in the upcoming election following her arrest.
The statewide voter fraud crackdown made national news.
Body Camera video from August showed dozens of convicted felons being placed under arrest for voting in the 2020 election.
In the video of Romona Oliver’s August arrest, she appeared confused. “Oh my god, voter fraud?” questioned Oliver, “I voted, but I didn’t commit no fraud,” she can be heard saying.
Oliver served 18 years for second-degree murder and said she thought she was allowed to vote.
Since her arrest, Attorney Mark Rankin said his client received a sample ballot in the mail.
“She recently received a sample ballot from the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections advising her on what would be on the ballot and how it would look, and the upcoming election tomorrow,” Rankin said. “It was almost comical, that after all that’s happened, as many times as she’s been told that she was eligible to vote, and then being prosecuted for voting, now, the Supervisor of Elections is sending her something advising her on how to vote.”
Gerri Kramer with the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Office emailed a statement about the mistake.
“Romona Brown was removed from the rolls March 30, 2022. She then registered to vote under the name Romona Oliver on May 24, 2022. That registration was verified by the Department of State and we have not received notification from them related to her ineligibility to vote. However, we did learn of her name change from a reporter. (This was unfortunately after we had already prepared our sample ballot mailing.) When we learned of the name change, we found and acted on her new voter registration in accordance with FS 98.075(7) by sending notification to her on October 26, 2022 that we had evidence she is not eligible to vote due to her felony conviction. Romona Brown Oliver will be removed from the voter roll once the requisite time has passed, in accordance with FS 98.075(7).”
Oliver’s attorney said the mix-up shows a clear breakdown on the local and state level.
“It just shows the level of incompetence at the local or state level with respect to advising people about whether or not they’re eligible to vote, the confusion that it causes, and really the wrongfulness of these prosecutions,” Rankin said.
Oliver’s next court hearing is in a few weeks, as her attorney attempts to get these charges thrown out.