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Politics

Don Gaetz Backs Jail Time for Voter Registration Fraud

October 15, 2012 - 6:00pm

With the number of outfits potentially involved in submitting fake voter registration forms growing, Senate President-designate Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, said anyone involved in voter fraud needs to go to jail.

This group that had been hired out of the RNC, Im glad the whistle got blown on them early, Gaetz said, during what became an impromptu media conference during a lunch with reporters in the Capitol on Tuesday.

Whoever is committing voter fraud, whether they are ACORN or this other group, I want the whistle blown, the flag thrown. I think people like that ought to get in real trouble and go to jail."

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement last week launched a criminal investigation into voter applications filed by Strategic Allied Consulting, which was hired by the Republican Party of Florida to collect voter registration statewide.

The RPOF fired the firm and filed an election complaint against the company after hundreds of questionable registration forms were found in numerous counties.

Since then, the state Division of Elections has informed the media that three other groups -- the Florida Democratic Party, National Council of La Raza, and the Florida New Majority Education Fund -- were potentially involved in "potential irregular voter registration activities."

In Florida, it is a third-degree felony to submit false voter registration information. The fine can reach $5,000 and up to five years in jail.

In 2008, the left-leaning community activist group ACORN was the focus on intense national scrutiny for allegedly undertaking crooked voter work, highlighted by questionable voter registration forms, on behalf of President Obamas campaign.

Reach Jim Turner at jturner@sunshinestatenews.com or at (772) 215-9889.

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