JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The State Attorney's Office is responding after a story published in The Tributary questioned the legitimacy of T.K. Water's voter registration information and residency.
The story noted that Waters is registered in a Nocatee precinct on the Duval County side even though his campaign says he lives on Jacksonville's Northside.
Registering to vote somewhere other than your residential address is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison.
The SA's office says it has not been presented with, nor found any evidence of voter fraud.
“In light of the recent news accounts regarding the voter registration of Jacksonville Sheriff candidate T.K. Waters and the suggestion of potential voter fraud, we have reviewed the relevant statutes and facts regarding Waters’ residency as it relates to his current voter registration information," said the SA's office in a statement.
"... Since moving from his last “legal residence,” Waters has rented a series of temporary residences in Duval County while awaiting the completion of his new home, also located in Duval County. Waters has not yet established a new “legal residence” — as he has not yet lived in a residence intended to become his permanent home — and hence, there is a reasonable basis to support that Waters was not required to change his address with the Supervisor of Elections."
The SA's Office says Florida jurisprudence defines legal residency as a place where a person has fixed an abode with the present intention of making it his or her permanent home.
"More importantly, we have not been presented with, nor found any evidence of voter fraud,” said the SA's Office.
In a statement issued Thursday afternoon, Waters said, “First of all, my wife and I have lived in Duval County for nearly a decade and I moved to Jacksonville in 1991. To imply otherwise is a factually inaccurate smear."
"Following the tragic death of our son in our home, my wife and I made the difficult decision to move and began renting in other locations. In between moves earlier this year I inadvertently kept my voter registration at a previous address, though I was not required to change it, until my permanent home, under construction, is complete and ready to move in to.”