The electoral system is safe, according to the secretary of state Laurel Lee.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was temporarily unable to cast a ballot this week because a 20-year-old Naples man changed the Republican’s home address in the state’s voter registration database. TALLAHASSEE, Fla.
Anthony Steven Guevara was detained by Florida officials on Tuesday night and accused of two charges, including felony voter fraud for altering someone’s registration without that person’s knowledge.
According to a report made by the Collier County Sheriff’s Department, DeSantis, a Tallahassee resident, realized that his address had been altered to West Palm Beach when he went to vote in Leon County on Monday afternoon. DeSantis called the Florida Department of Law Enforcement after learning that his address had been altered.
The matter “was addressed instantly,” according to the secretary of state Laurel Lee, and the governor was able to cast a ballot.
She said in a written declaration that the state’s voter registration system is safe and was not infiltrated.
The Florida Department of State wants every voter to have faith in the fairness of our electoral system, according to Lee. There was no proof the alteration was made via the state’s system, and the “incident was perpetrated using publicly accessible voter data.”
The address change request from the Leon County election office was traced by FDLE officers to a Naples residence where Guevara was questioned. Because he knew DeSantis’ date of birth, Guevara admitted to altering the governor’s voter registration. He also demonstrated to the officers how he was able to alter the governor’s address using the state’s voter registration website.
Guevara admitted to the investigators that he had looked up American voter data. Sen. Rick Scott and famous people like LeBron James and Michael Jordan, but only DeSantis’s address was changed. Florida and other states make public information on voter registration available.
Guevara claimed to have changed DeSantis’ address to a popular YouTuber.
After assuming office in 2019, DeSantis, who resides in the governor’s mansion, which is located near the state Capitol, changed his voter registration address to Leon County. In the primary election in August, DeSantis used mail-in ballots; but, for the general election, he used in-person voting.
Last month, his spokesperson, Fred Piccolo, told POLITICO that DeSantis changed because the security procedures hold down mail delivery to the estate.
The governor has not made any public remarks regarding the incident. An inquiry for comment was not immediately answered by Piccolo.
A request for comment from Mark Earley, the Leon County supervisor of elections, was not promptly fulfilled.
On October 5, the final day for registration before this year’s presidential election, Florida’s online voter registration system broke. Later, state officials claimed that the accident was unrelated to hacking and was caused by heavy traffic.
WINK, a television station in Southwest Florida, was the first to report on the arrest. According to court documents, Guevara is still being held in Collier County.
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