Voter Fraud in Chiefland?
A city commissioner who lost the race says people voted illegally in the election.
Alice Monyei lost by 43 votes to Frank Buie in Tuesday's election. Out of 458 ballots cast, Mayor Betty Walker lost by 8 to Sammy Cason. Monyei says she thinks there's at least 20 people voted in the Chiefland election who don't actually live inside city limits.
On another hot day Thursday in Chiefland, the election that ended at 7 P.M. Tuesday may just be starting to heat up.
"It's something that people have been getting away with for a long time," says City Commisioner Alice Monyei.
Monyei says people that work in Chiefland but don't live in the city are illegally voting.
"I feel that it's not carelessness," says Monyei. "I feel that the community is small, too small for people not to know who's to vote and who's not to vote."
Chiefland city officials declined to go on camera until an official appeal has been filed. However they say it's not their job to turn anyone away from voting. They just check each ballot to insure each citizen is on their voter registration list and the signatures match.
"It's the voter's responsibility in the long run to change their address," says Asbell. "It doesn't come back to me or the city, so the voter has to take a responsibility."
In 15 years on the job, Asbell says she's heard rumors of Chiefland voter fraud before, but she doesn't know of any previous investigations.
I decided to check out some of the address for myself. Andy and Amy Andrews list 13 SE 1st Avenue as their home address. But the building looks like a business and their secretary says they are out of town and then she locked the door on me.
"With my system, I can't tell if it's a business or a residential address," says Asbell. "So if the voter wants to fraud themselves and say that's their home, that's them."
Voter fraud is a 3rd degree felony, punishable with up to five years in prison.
"I encourage every citizen of Chiefland to contact the Florida Election Commission and file a complaint," says Monyei.
Monyei told me she would be filing a complaint online Thursday night with the State Division of Elections.
For the results of a race to be contested, the losing candidate would have to challenge the results in Circuit Court. Monyei says she will not be doing that. Betty Walker says she has not made up her mind yet.
By Dan Breitwieser, WCJB TV20 News
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