Alachua County Supervisor of Elections denies wrongdoing in voter fraud investigation
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Alachua County Supervisor of Elections Kim Barton released a statement Friday denying wrongdoing in regards to a voter fraud investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Agents are reviewing the elections office’s registration of 18 inmates to determine if they voted illegally.
Supervisor of Election’s Kim Barton said in a statement quote, “It is incumbent upon the individual to determine if they are eligible to submit a voter registration application.” She added that the elections office does not provide legal council.
On June 2, 2021, TV 20 confirmed the State Attorney’s Office notified the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office about voter fraud accusations and Sheriff Clovis Watson, Jr. ordered the investigation be handed over to FDLE.
The full press release from the Alachua County Supervisor of Election’s Office is below:
Supervisor of Elections Clarifies FDLE Complaint
ALACHUA COUNTY, Fla. (June 4, 2021) — Supervisor of Elections Kim A. Barton is taking this opportunity to clarify confusion about the circumstances of a complaint filed with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The complaint alleges that certain individuals who were registered to vote at an outreach event at the Alachua County jail, and voted in the 2020 Primary and General elections, did not meet the requirements of the law concerning Florida’s Amendment 4/Felon Voting Rights.
Any suggestion that the Supervisor’s office intentionally registered ineligible voters is categorically false.
Supervisor Barton welcomes this opportunity to highlight her office’s voter outreach programs and explain the system for verifying registration forms and investigating complaints.
“Voter outreach and education are a fundamental and legally required part of our mission,” Barton said, " the Elections Office partners with high schools, colleges, nursing homes, centers for independent living, the county jail, and various organizations to educate and register voters. I am proud of the longstanding partnership with the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office. I consider it a core service to ensure that those individuals who have met the requirements of the law are able to exercise their right to vote.”
Outreach to citizens at the county jail includes providing voter registration educational materials, including Amendment 4 information. It is incumbent upon the individual to determine if they are eligible to submit a voter registration application based on this information. The Elections Office cannot and does not provide legal counsel.
Registration forms received from the jail, or any other source, are entered into the Florida Voter Registration System. The authority to verify an individual’s eligibility rests with the Florida Division of Elections, not the local Supervisor of Elections. The recent complaint is being investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE).
“I take any accusation of voter fraud seriously,” Barton explained. “Anyone who submitted false voter registration information should be investigated. My office will have further comments pending the findings of the FDLE complaint.”
For more information, contact the Alachua County Supervisor of Elections at 352-374-5252.
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