Saturday, September 23, 2023

Fla. Opens Criminal Probe into Orlando Ballot-Harvesting Operation

'But in our community it's kind of like an accepted practice that the man is coming by to pick up my absentee ballot... '

(Jacob Bruns, Headline USA) The state of Florida has opened a criminal probe into a long-running ballot harvesting operation in Central Florida, including Orlando and surrounding areas.

Former Orange County commissioner candidate Cynthia Harris filed a sworn affidavit in late August with the Secretary of State, alleging that ballot harvesting has been going on for years, with collectors being paid $10 for each ballot they collect, Just the News reported.

According to Harris, the ballot harvesters targeted predominantly black areas in order to boost Democrat numbers.

“So what happens is in our community when absentee ballots are mailed, you the candidate or any political party can find out when the absentee ballots are mailed and to whom, what happens is these ballot harvesters, they know which batch has gone out, they go to the door and they ask you for your absentee ballot,” Harris said.

“Well, in communities that don’t look like me, no one does this,” she noted, alluding to predominantly white neighborhoods.

“But in our community it’s kind of like an accepted practice that the man is coming by to pick up my absentee ballot or the lady is coming to pick up my absentee ballot.”

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’s Office of Election Crimes and Security is looking into the matter.

“The Florida Department of State, Office of Election Crimes and Security was made aware of this issue around September 1, 2022,” the department said. “After further inquiry, OECS received additional information related to the allegation on October 17, 2022, and performed a preliminary investigation.”

According to the department, some arrests may be in the future for those who have participated in the illegal ballot harvesting.

“Since OECS is an investigative entity and does not [have] authority to make arrests, the office forwarded the complaint to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for possible violation of section 104.0616, Florida Statutes,” it added.


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