‘Palm Beach County serves as an example of the types of vulnerabilities found within Florida’s voting system that could be leveraged by an outside saboteur…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) A newly released report by the Public Interest Legal Foundation that analyzed Palm Beach County found that more than 20,000 “snowbirds” from states like New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island had duplicate registrations in their winter homes to the south.
With last week’s announcement that President Donald Trump planned to change his permanent residence from New York to Florida, the Sunshine State continues to flex its popularity as a refuge from the northeastern extremes of climate and taxation.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and others have embraced the exodus with open arms— for instance, actively encouraging prominent players in the finance and tech industries to relocate.
But dual residencies have become a concern in the state, a perennial battleground with razor-thin margins, which has drawn negative headlines as the result of several corrupt or incompetent local elections supervisors during the 2018 race.
One of the most closely watched areas during the election season is Palm Beach, known for its beauty and its popularity with southbound retirees as well as for being an election disaster.
PILF’s report identified several “flaws and procedural errors” that it hoped could prevent a repeat of the familiar scenario—or worse.
“We are one year out from the 2020 General and this report is a stark reminder that you can’t have election ‘security’ without integrity first,” said J. Christian Adams, PILF president and general counsel, in a statement.
“Palm Beach County serves as an example of the types of vulnerabilities found within Florida’s voting system that could be leveraged by an outside saboteur,” he continued. “Our research suggests these problems are fixable well before the presidential election.”
Fortunately, not all of the 20,479 residents who were double-registered in another state voted in both, but PILF’s examination showed that there were 225 instances of Palm Beach residents double-voting in 2016 and 2018.
Even more shockingly, of the 2,203 deceased registrants who turned up on Palm Beach voting rolls, 139 had voted.
Despite the work of watchdog groups like PILF casting light on such voter abuse, Democrats have repeatedly sought to downplay evidence of fraud, suggesting that the impact on elections is negligible.
While the numbers may not seem like that jarring in a county with a population of just around 1.4 million, in state with more than 8 million active voters, when considering the narrow margins of recent races, the state’s voting discrepancies are downright alarming.
Unsurprisingly, much of it benefits the Democrats who prefer to turn a blind eye.
GOP Sen. Rick Scott defeated incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson last year by barely more than 10,000 votes statewide. And DeSantis eked by in his win over Andrew Gillum with just over 30,000.
But both Democrats in Palm Beach trounced their respective Republican opponents by a margin of 17 percentage points more.
The congressional district that encompasses much of Palm Beach also went solid blue with roughly 70,000 more votes for Rep. Ted Deutch than his GOP challenger out of almost 300,000 votes cast.
With 2020 likely to be even more contentious amid a heated presidential election contest, PILF has issued an entire series titled “Calm Before the Storm” that addresses several key areas where preventable voter fraud vulnerabilities might sway the outcome of the election in a worst-case scenario.
Among the other reports it has issued are a series outlining nonvoters’ participation in elections in Michigan, “sanctuary” cities, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Virginia.
Adams said that PILF has alerted the appropriate officials with each of its reports, although some are more responsive than others.
It applauded Wendy S. Link, the current Palm Beach County supervisor of elections, for her commitment to reviewing the findings and taking the necessary corrective action.
Link’s predecessor, Susan Bucher, was suspended from her position after several major issues in the Palm Beach and Broward county elections led to widespread criticism of the office and fears that she had violated election laws.
“Essentially all findings worthy of official action were created during now-removed Supervisor Susan Bucher’s term of office, or a predecessor,” PILF said.