An unknown person in Florida tried to register 54 deceased Democrats to vote in the 2020 election.
The Sun Sentinel reported that whoever is behind the fraud appears to live in Columbia, South Carolina and “submitted at least 54 new voter applications in July in the same neat handwriting to the Broward elections office, several in each of 19 envelopes.” Many of the names on the applications were for elderly citizens who had recently died outside of Florida.
“Almost all of them were flagged by Broward elections office staff as suspicious, and turned over to the Broward State Attorney’s Office. Prosecutors have been watching since August, in a sting operation to catch the culprit, internal correspondence shows,” the outlet reported.
State Attorney’s Office Spokeswoman Paula McMahon told the Sentinel that the office “cannot comment on an ongoing, active criminal investigation.”
While most of the applications were flagged by election officials, at least three were added to the voter rolls in July. Two of the people added to the voter rolls had died a month earlier, in June.
Broward Elections Supervisor Pete Antonacci told the Sentinel about the fraud after the outlet asked about three odd voter ID cards sent to the same address in Davie, Florida. That man, Pete Fisher, a registered Republican, received the ID cards and looked into the names on them, finding that all three belonged to the deceased.
“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,” Antonacci said.
More from the Sentinel:
Registering dead or fraudulent voters is illegal, but not difficult, the scheme shows. Each application was blank where driver license and social security numbers were to be filled in.
Actual voting under the false registrations would be much harder. All the applications were submitted as new registrations on Broward’s voter rolls, so the voter would have to show identification before voting, or when mailing in a ballot, Antonacci said.
The voters would be classified as a “MARG,” or “Mail Registrant” who did not submit the required identification.
“It would have been another layer of fraudulent activity in order for them to vote,” Broward elections spokesman Steven Vancore said. “They did not vote.”
“We take any allegation of voter fraud very seriously because it affects our very democracy,” Broward State Attorney Mike Satz said Friday of the fraud. “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.”
The attempted fraud amounts to very few votes, far from any potential mass fraud that could impact an election. Though there have been isolated incidents of attempted fraud around the U.S., they have been flagged by elections officials.