The discovery of at least 60 voter registration applications for people who were dead or did not authorize them has led to the arrest of two Jacksonville men, the State Attorney's Office said.
Devin Deangelo King was arrested on Nov. 3 and Jordan Rayeshaun Daniels on Nov. 17 on charges of criminal use of personal identification information, jail records show. Both are 33.
Both the State Attorney's Office and Supervisor of Elections Mike Hogan said the motive doesn't appear to be political but for financial gain.
"This was a group working with what we call a third-party organization," Hogan said. "... We did not see anything political about it. It was, I think, people who were greedy. There's an incentive there to get as many as you can in."
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The discovery also does not indicate any problem with Duval County's voting system, he said. His staff noticed the forms — some of the thousands submitted by many groups that do voter registration, change of party affiliation or addresses — did not look right.
"It just shows the diligence of the people who are working through this process to make sure that everything is right, not just the accuracy of the vote count, but the validity of our voter roll," Hogan said. "You have to be diligent to make sure you keep accurate records, and this is proof that we can find and eliminate it."
How the scheme was determined
The arrests follow a joint investigation by the Sheriff’s Office and State Attorney’s Office into identity theft.
Investigators initially met Aug. 19 with the elections office to review inconsistencies on a large number of recently turned-in voter registration applications, the State Attorney's Office said. Such forms contain personal identification information such as name, date of birth and driver’s license numbers.
The inconsistencies included signatures that did not match, plus personal identification information that was not correct. A review showed they had been initialed by two men, the State Attorney's Office said.
The investigators contacted numerous people listed on the forms. They determined several applications associated with Daniels and King were falsified, the State Attorney's Office said.
Hogan did not know which database might have been used to find the names inscribed on the registration forms, saying there are "so many" out there that can contain that information.
Hogan is advising registered voters to check the status of their registration to ensure all information is up to date and accurate, saying the security of voter registration and elections is a serious matter, and voters must be able to trust the process.
Registered voters who find irregularities with their registration information should contact the Supervisor of Elections Office at (904) 255-8683.
The arrests were announced just days before a Dec. 7 special election to fill the City Council At-Large Group 3 seat left vacant by the recent death of Tommy Hazouri.
If convicted, King and Daniels would each face a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years in prison, the State Attorney's Office said.
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This article originally appeared on Florida Times-Union: Jacksonville men charged in voter registration fraud scheme