A Florida man has been arrested and charged after requesting an absentee ballot for his wife, who has been dead for two years. When interviewed by authorities, the man confessed, saying he was trying to “test the system” by making the request.
Larry Wiggins, 62, a registered Democrats, was interviewed by police after getting a notification from Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Mike Bennett that someone had made a suspicious request, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported.
“Bennett said his staff discovered the fraud during a routine check of the voter roll that is done whenever someone requests a mail ballot. The voter database is constantly being updated, including with information from the state Department of Health on voters who die, Bennett said,” as reported by the outlet.
Bennett’s office looked at the signature they had on file for Wiggins’ wife and compared it to the one found on her absentee ballot request. They didn’t match, so sheriff’s deputies interviewed Wiggins, who confessed to the request but said he had done it because he was “testing the system to see if it worked.”
“He wanted to test the system,” Bennett told the Herald-Tribune. “He did test the system, and guess what? It worked.”
Bennett insisted voter fraud in Florida was rare and that this was the first case he had seen. He’s been Manatee County’s top elections official since 2012.
“The amount of fraud committed in Florida in elections is very small,” Bennett told the Herald-Tribune. “People complain that vote by mail is crooked; it’s not, we catch them, we verify it and any supervisor of elections in the state of Florida I know is just as conscious about it as I am.”
Bennett went on to tell the outlet that voters in Florida can rest easy knowing their election officials are checking for voter fraud.
“The thing we’re pushing is we want people to know no matter what county you’re in, in Florida every supervisor in Florida is dedicated to make sure we have fair and honest elections,” he said.
Elsewhere in the country, voter fraud has played a role in election. A judge in New Jersey ordered a new election after four people were charged with voter fraud in Paterson, The Daily Wire previously reported. The election was for a city council seat, but the winner and another elected official were among those arrested for fraud.
“NBC New York reported that 16,747 vote-by-mail ballots were received, but only 13,557 votes were counted,” The Daily Wire reported in June. “Around 800 votes were not counted because they ‘were found improperly bundled in mailboxes’ and the remaining 2,390 disqualifications were due to signature discrepancies.”
A Maryland county also warned that a person or group was “unlawfully” attempting to collect ballots. Minneapolis police are also looking into voter fraud allegations against elected officials and a member of Rep. Illhan Omar’s (D-MN) campaign. In Georgia, 1,000 people double-voted and now face 10 years in prison.