The day after the 2018 midterm elections, Florida Democrats attempted to launch a statewide effort to use fraudulent election forms to fix signature problems on absentee ballots after the state’s deadline, a blockbuster report from the Naples Daily News says.
Federal prosecutors are already investigating altered election forms from Broward, Santa Rosa, Citrus, and Okaloosa Counties for possible voter fraud. Ana Ceballos, writing from Tallahassee, Fla., reports that an email obtained by the USA TODAY NETWORK-Florida shows Democratic party leaders attempted to organize an effort beyond those counties “to give voters the altered forms to fix improper absentee ballots after the Nov. 5 deadline.”
“Democratic party leaders provided staffers with copies of a form, known as a ‘cure affidavit,’ that had been modified to include an inaccurate Nov. 8 deadline,” Ceballos writes.
The election document was a state form to fix absentee ballots with signature problems. The original document provides that corrections must be submitted “no later than 5 p.m. on the day before the election.”
Three contested statewide elections, including the Senate race between Republican Rick Scott and Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., are headed for recounts in which these absentee ballots may make a difference.
The Democratic Party collected a list of Florida voters whose ballots were flagged with signature problems and their contact information. Jennifer Kim, the party’s central Florida deputy field director, sent an email to party staffers on Nov. 7 explaining how volunteers and staffers could have these voters correct their ballots after the deadline. She attached the altered form to her email with copies in both English and Spanish.
“The voters MUST print out the form and sign it by hand,” Kim wrote.
Kim’s email instructed staff and volunteers to use the list of voters to contact about their signature problems on the absentee ballots, to complete the form on the phone with the voter and to email the completed form to the voter.
The voter was instructed to print the form and to sign it. And Kim’s email instructed the party workers to tell voters to deliver the signed form to their local election office.
Kim told staffers that voters should reply back to them after they delivered the forms at the party’s email, firstname.lastname@example.org. That email was also included in documents Florida election officials referred to federal prosecutors in connection to the altered forms received by Broward and the other three counties.
“If needed (party) staff or volunteer should go pick up their affidavit and deliver it for them if they are not able to deliver by 5 p.m. Thursday. (Each office should identify a runner that can do this.),” her email states.
A Palm Beach Democrat who spoke to the Daily News said the plan was to have voters fix and submit as many absentee ballots as possible with the altered forms, hoping that they would be counted if a judge rules to include such absentee ballots in the vote count.
On Thursday, Chief Judge Mark Walker of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida ruled that voters should have until Saturday to fix their absentee ballot signatures, which the Daily News reports could mean the corrected ballots fixed by these altered forms will be counted. Walker was appointed to the District Court bench by President Barack Obama.
Florida Department of State officials argue that altering the forms constitutes a criminal offense.
“Making or using an altered form is a criminal offense under Florida law,” wrote State Department lawyer Bradley McVay in referring the altered forms to federal prosecutors. “More fundamentally, altering a form in a manner that provides the incorrect date for a voter to cure a defect (or an incorrect method as it related to provisional ballots) imposes a burden on the voter significant enough to frustrate the voter’s ability to vote.”
So let’s get this straight. Florida law gives voters a deadline to fix incorrect absentee ballots before Election Day. The Democratic Party schemes to have some voters who did not meet this deadline fix their ballots after Election Day. They alter election forms with an incorrect date to accomplish this and hope some Florida judge rules in their favor that the deadline established by state law disenfranchises voters. Then, an Obama-appointed federal judge rules that the deadline was wrong and gives voters till Saturday to fix their ballots, potentially letting the ballots corrected with these fraudulent forms be counted.
If that’s not election cheating, what is?
Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are conservative political philosophy, the American founding, and progressive rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.
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