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Supervisor of Elections warns of possible voter intimidation letter

11:11 PM, Oct 22, 2012   |    comments
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 PDF Document: Voter Fraudulent Letter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A letter that appears to be from local Supervisors of Elections has been appearing in mailboxes around the First Coast, including Duval and St. Johns counties.

The letter's purpose could be to intimidate voters into not casting their ballot.

Duval County Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland said they started hearing from voters Friday. By Monday, about a dozen Duval County residents confirmed receiving the same letter, questioning the voter's eligibility based on citizenship status.

Holland believes that number is only the tip of the iceberg.

"It's a bogus letter, it's kind of insinuating to voters that their eligibility may be in question and they may not be able to vote," Holland said.

"I thought, 'Well this is bizarre,'" said Bill Bishop, Jacksonville City Council president, who also received one of the letters.

Bishop spotted the letter as fake right away, but its purpose was not as clear.

"On some level somebody's trying to discourage some group of people form voting in some fashion or other," he said.

Holland said the letter is not attempting voter fraud; the sender already had some of the voters' information by sending the letters, and the letter directs recipients to contact the Supervisor of Elections office at the correct number and email address.

"By all means they weren't trying to steal information but definitely confuse voters," Holland said.

But it could be considered voter intimidation, which falls under voter fraud and is still a felony.

The mail was sent from Seattle, Washington, crossing state lines. Mail fraud could be added to the possible charges.

"Whatever the plan was, we don't know," Holland said. "But they obviously got their message out."

Voter fraud could mean a fine of up to $5,000 and/or prison time.

The Division of Elections is investigating through FDLE, the FBI and the Department of Justice.

First Coast News

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