Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Florida: Some Voter Registration Forms Fraudulent

Election Official: Some Voter Registration Forms Fraudulent

Associated Press

October 20, 2004

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Alachua County's elections supervisor gave more than 500 voter registration forms to local prosecutors because some people said their party affiliation was fraudulently changed to Republican by a student working for the GOP.

Beverly Hill, Alachua's Democratic elections supervisor, last week began reviewing the forms collected at the University of Florida and other schools by Mark Jacoby, who worked for a contractor that signed up voters for the Republican Party of Florida.

"I decided it was fraud," Hill said Tuesday, a day after she gave the forms to the State Attorney's Office in Gainesville. She said her staff checked 30 of them, "And they were across the board (saying), 'No, I never intended to do that."'

Jacoby handed in a total of 1,218 forms, Hill said. Of those, 510 named people who already were registered, so Hill gave those to prosecutors. The rest were new registrants, and Hill processed those.
Jacoby said Tuesday he asked every person to initial a box on the form to indicate they wanted to change party affiliation.

Mindy Tucker Fletcher, a state Republican adviser, confirmed that Jacoby worked for Arno Political Consultants, a firm subcontracted to register voters at central Florida college campuses. Fletcher said she was assured that all registration workers disclosed their attempts to obtain Republican party affiliations.

Fletcher said she could not explain why the 30 people contacted by Hill's office said they did not want to register as Republicans.

"I can't guarantee you that's what those people were thinking when they signed that form that day," Fletcher said. "People really may not want to own up to that now."


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