Absentee ballot fraud charges in Daytona Beach

One of my graduate students sent this along, “Daytona Beach Commissioner Arrested on Fraud Charges.” The charges involve absentee ballot fraud in a recent election in Daytona Beach.

According to the story, the Volusia County Supervisor of Elections noticed some irregularities in absentee ballot requests:

McFall filed the complaint in August after her office received a large number of requests for absentee ballots that were all sent from the same e-mail address. Based on the e-mail address, it appeared that the requests came from someone with an interest in the Daytona Beach City Commission Zone 5 race. Henry, the Zone 5 incumbent who was locked in a three-way primary race, was re-elected on Aug. 24.

That’s an interesting bit of election forensics.

The investigation then:

The investigation revealed that between Henry and Robinson, they had requested a total of 92 absentee ballots through the elections office’s web site. Four of the absentee ballots were found at Henry’s house when investigators searched it in September. Investigators also recovered absentee ballot applications and receipts for some of the absentee ballots along with handbooks outlining Florida election laws.

Investigators interviewed some of the 92 people for whom absentee ballots were requested and said they were told a variety of stories. One resident said she received an absentee ballot in the mail even though she hadn’t requested one. A few days later, she said one of Henry’s campaign workers showed up at her house and asked if she had received her ballot and had filled it out. The resident said she got the ballot while the campaign worker waited. Then she filled it out, sealed and signed the ballot and turned it over to the campaign worker.