TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Tampa Bay space elections supervisor is sounding the alarm about suspected wide-spread fraud within the push to increase playing in Florida.
Pinellas Supervisor of Elections Julie Marcus says her workplace is inundated with probably phony petitions for a proposed constitutional modification. As 8 On Your Facet came upon, it may have a ripple impact on different poll initiatives in November.
“That is unacceptable. This shouldn’t be part of our course of,” Marcus mentioned. “I took a batch of 100, I wished to undergo them personally, and never a single one in all these was legitimate.”
Marcus says her workplace is flagging a whole bunch of the probably phony petitions for a proposed modification to increase on line casino gaming. The signed inexperienced kinds are speculated to replicate the need of actual voters, supporting a change to our state’s structure.
However Marcus says it seems a bunch of prison petition gatherers are forging signatures.
In response to a state memo, that is occurring in at the least six counties in Florida.
“These will not be the voices of our voters,” Marcus mentioned. “What’s taking place is you probably have an individual creating individuals and filling out kinds and pretending as if they’re voters.”
Marcus has introduced in additional assist. Her crew has been working additional time to approve legitimate petitions by the authorized deadline of Feb. 1, 2022.
She says she’s doing the whole lot attainable to keep away from a ripple impact on different poll initiatives in November.
“These voters who did it correctly, these petition teams that did it correctly, are put again on the again burner as a result of going by means of a petition that isn’t legitimate takes longer,” mentioned Marcus.
Proper now, the Florida Division of Regulation Enforcement together with native prosecutors are investigating. However may extra be carried out to instantly cease these alleged criminals?
The reply is sure.
Final month, in a three-page memo, Secretary of State Laurel Lee’s workplace informed Legal professional Normal Ashley Moody’s workplace, “it might be acceptable and helpful to voters… to ban the circulators at difficulty from persevering with to flow into petitions and committing further fraudulent acts towards voters.”
However proper now, the circulators at difficulty are nonetheless allowed to work. Whereas AG Moody has the ability, through an injunction, to forestall this, she hasn’t utilized it, but.
8 On Your Facet Investigator Mahsa Saeidi contacted the AG’s Workplace for solutions. A spokeswoman launched the next assertion:
“The Legal professional Normal’s Workplace continues to fulfill with the Division of State and can proceed to evaluate all obtainable cures below regulation. This matter has been referred to the Florida Division of Regulation Enforcement for investigation. For extra data, please contact FDLE. As soon as their evaluation is full, the Workplace of Statewide Prosecution will evaluation their findings.”
If in case you have a narrative for Mahsa to analyze, please ship an e mail to MSaeidi@WFLA.com.