Voter Fraud Victim

By: Amy Morris
By: Amy Morris

As we told you Wednesday, a stack of suspicious voter registration forms is plaguing an already busy Bay County elections office. Thursday, a young voter affected by the fraud speaks out about election tampering.

You see them all the time, people outside Wal-Mart or the mall with clipboards. They ask you to sign petitions for all sorts of local and state issues, but what are they doing with that information?

One young voter says she found out the hard way these people aren't always what they seem. Eighteen-year old Ashley Kent says she'll think twice about signing another petition.

"I just signed my name, maybe I shouldn't have."

Her signature turned up in a stack of questionable voter registration forms at the Bay County Elections Office. Kent says they took her information off a petition she and a group of friends signed at Gulf Coast Community College.

"I gave him a fake social security number and address."

The person then used her signature to change her address with the elections office. Wednesday, Kent got two new voter registration cards in the mail. They had been sent to her old address.

"I don't understand why anyone would want to do this. I mean, come up to a table of innocent 18-year-olds. We haven't even gotten a chance to voice our opinions and vote yet."

Kent says she looked forward to voting. Thursday she sent in her absentee ballot. She's also filed a complaint with the Bay County Sheriff's Office.

Elections Supervisor Mark Andersen says if you signed a petition at Gulf Coast anytime this year go online to bayvotes.org and check your registration, or you can call the office at 784-6100. All of the questionable registrations are college age voters. He says you can avoid any headaches on Election Day by voting early, then the staff will have time to sort out any discrepancies.

The scheme targets young college age voters, potentially making them unable to cast votes on Election Day. Whether that benefits either party is yet to be seen.


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