Fraudulent letters impersonate Supervisor of Elections received by local voters

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — Bogus letters apparently meant to deter people from voting in this upcoming and future elections have surfaced in Indian River County.

The letters which have a Seattle postmark claim to be an official letter from Leslie Swan supervisor of elections.

They clearly are not.

Swan’s office is in receipt of two such letters sent to homes recently. The letters state that the recipient’s voter eligibility is in question and that the recipient must fill out a voter eligibility form within 15 days prior to an election. The recipient is told that failure to submit the form will result in the person being automatically ineligible to vote. And then should the person try and vote, there is a warning that he or she could be jailed.

“A non registered voter who casts a vote in the state of Florida may be subject to arrest, imprisonment and other criminal sanctions,” the bogus letter reads.

In a statement from Swan’s office Monday, she said such letters have been surfacing in other counties as well.

“The Department of State takes this possible act of voter intimidation and fraudulent activity very seriously and is pursuing all avenues to ensure the practice is immediately stopped,” the statement from Swan’s office said. “…This letter has not been issued from the Department of State or from any Supervisor of Election’s office.”

The Department of State is referring any information about these letters and other cases of potential voter fraud to law enforcement. A person who corruptly influences voting or attempts to commit voter intimidation or voter suppression can be convicted of a felony of the third degree and fined up to $5,000 and/or imprisoned for up to five years, the statement reads.

Indian River County voters who receive this letter should immediately contact the Supervisor of Elections office at 772-226-3435 to assist with the documentation necessary for this investigation.

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