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Supervisors will push to keep election records secret

Published: Oct. 29, 2020 at 6:27 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Voter registration information is a public record in Florida, but it hasn’t always been that way. It became public in 2006, but following Wednesday’s arrest of a 20-year-old Naples man for changing Governor Ron DeSantis’s address, supervisors plan to ask lawmakers to take the records out of the public view.

20-year-old Anthony Guevara is facing two felony charges for submitting changes to the Governor’s voting record. His attorney, Mike Carr, said he is just a young man with too much time on his hands.

“And a on a lark thought he would see if he could access famous people, and that’s what he did,” said Carr.

Guevara’s online information shows he is a registered Republican.

“He doesn’t hate the Governor or anything. He was just playing around,” said Carr.

Leon County Elections Supervisor Mark Earley said the arrest within a day of when the Governor showed up to vote Monday afternoon, should be a message to others.

“Well, I think it speaks to the seriousness with which we take these kind of voter fraud instances,” said Earley.

But Carr said this should be a wake up call.

“If somebody had malice, you could go in and easily change hundreds of thousands of addresses and stuff and throw the election into chaos,” said Carr.

Earley said the ‘I’m not a robot’ feature prevents wide scale attacks.

Still, supervisors plan to revive an effort to remove voters' registrations from public record.

“I think the key benefit is just peace of mind for voters. We get a lot of complaints that all of this information we give to you just so that we can vote is out there, public knowledge. That’s not what I signed up for,” said Earley.

It’s also important to know that when the address change form is submitted, it doesn’t actually change your voter file. It goes into a cue, where local elections staff review it. So any wholesale attacks would be noticed and thwarted.

Guevara is free on bond. He is set to be arraigned before a judge on November 23rd, the Monday before Thanksgiving.

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