Florida prosecutors brought charges of voter fraud against nine Alachua County residents who registered and voted from the county jail in 2020.
The Alachua County Supervisors of Elections Office held a voter registration event at the jail ahead of the 2020 elections. In a June 2021 statement, Barton said the office gives voter registration information, but it is up to the individual to determine if they can vote based on the information.
Under Florida’s Amendment 4, residents convicted of a felony besides murder or a sexual offense may vote as long as their sentence is finished and all fines and fees are paid off.
“Any suggestion that the Supervisor’s office intentionally registered ineligible voters is categorically false,” the statement said.
Barton’s statement responded to a complaint filed with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The department sent its report to the Office of the State Attorney in February, allowing the office to begin assigning its cases.
More charges could be underway as Florida cracks down on voter fraud across the state. The Florida Legislature passed SB 524 during the 2022 session and now waits for Gov. Ron DeSantis to sign.
The bill would create an Office of Election Crimes and Security within the Department of State and changes how often supervisors of election need to have registration list maintenance programs. The bill also includes other provisions.
DeSantis announced the legislative effort in November.
“I am excited that with this legislation, our state will be able to enforce election violations, combat voter fraud and make sure violators are held accountable,” DeSantis said in a press release. “If potential violators know they will be held accountable, they will be much less likely to engage in improper conduct in the first place.”
WUFT reports election investigations in Duval, Gadsden, Lake and Leon counties, and one of the nine charged individuals told WUFT that he thought he was voting within the law.
The Gainesville Sun lists the nine individuals charged with voter fraud as:
- John Boyd Rivers, 54.
- Leroy James Ross Jr., 63.
- Christopher Timothy Wiggins, 53.
- Kevin Bolton, 55.
- Arthur Leonard Lang, 43.
- Therris Lee Conney Jr., 33.
- Xavier Lavell Kevon Artis, 22.
- Henry Thomas Shuler III, 38.
- Daniel Dion Roberts, 48.