Three Republican supporters from Trump-backing Florida complex The Villages arrested for voter fraud

The three have been accused of voting more than once in the 2020 elections

Sravasti Dasgupta
Wednesday 15 December 2021 13:47
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Calls for investigation into alleged Florida election fraud

Three voters from Florida have been arrested on charges of voting more than once in the 2020 presidential elections.

The three are all residents of The Villages community in Florida and were arrested over the last two weeks.

They include, Jay Ketcik, 63; Joan Halstead, 71; and John Rider, 61.

Of the three, Mr Ketcik and Ms Halstead have been charged with voting once in Florida and once in other states through absentee votes, reported the Associated Press (AP).

Court documents show that Mr Ketcik has been accused of voting by mail in Florida in October 2020 and then casting an absentee ballot again in Michigan.

He was arrested last week on a charge of third-degree felony fraud.

Ms Halstead, who was arrested two weeks ago, has been similarly charged with voting more than once. According to an arrest report she was booked two weeks ago for voting in person in Florida and by absentee ballot in New York.

The two are registered Republicans and have entered not guilty pleas saying that they intend to attack “the sufficiency” of the charges against them.

The duo’s Facebook pages also contain several posts, expressing support for former president Donald Trump.

However, it is not known which party the three voted for, reported news4jax.

On the other hand, an arrest report has not detailed the charges faced by Mr Rider who was arrested in early December, reported AP.

The arrests come a month after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis proposed a new law enforcement agency to probe electoral fraud, even though there has been little evidence of malpractice in the 2020 elections.

Mr DeSantis who is facing a re-election bid next year and is also eyeing a 2024 presidential run, has promised new restrictions on ballot drop boxes, creating the election police force and changes that would strengthen penalties for ballot harvesting.

While announcing these measures, he echoed voting problems that have gained traction in the GOP following Mr Trump’s false claims that the 2020 reelection was stolen from him.

However, the governor has previously praised the 2020 election in Florida as smooth.

Last year, the Department of Justice had said that there was no evidence of voter fraud in the 2020 elections.

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