State Attorney: 'No Voter Fraud' In Sopchoppy City Elections

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Associated Press Release

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- The state is about to close an investigation into voter suppression complaints in the small town of Sopchoppy, and a prosecutor says no charges will be filed.

State Attorney Willie Meggs said Monday that there is no evidence of voter suppression in the municipal election where the black incumbent mayor lost re-election by one vote.

The former mayor and a black city commissioner who also lost her re-election bid filed complaints with the state alleging that the white city clerk suppressed the black vote.

But the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in a summary of its investigation said it couldn't find evidence that any poll worker, election official or city employee fraudulently tried to influence the vote.

By: Elizabeth Nickerson
November 13, 2013

Sopchoppy, FL - The former Sopchoppy Commissioner, Anginita Rosier, continues to speak out against the way the city handled the June elections. She claims she and mayor Colleen Skipper lost the election because the city clerk actively campaigned against them and suppressed the minority vote.

FDLE passed their final review to the State Attorneys Office on Tuesday. However, Rosier says there is a conflict of interest in the final review.

"An assistant state attorney who is employed in his office is also a candidate in this election that was ultimately voted into office by possible fraudulent means then that was enough concern that he should have recused himself from this case." said Anginita Rosier, the former Sopchoppy Commissioner.

Rosier says she has put in an appeal to the Governors Office, so they can transfer the case to another state attorney.

"Ms. Rosier can have those opinions, but I don't share those opinions and I think she won't be satisfied unless she gets the answers that she wants," said Assistant State Attorney Eddie Evans over the phone. "I don't think those answers that she is wanting have any real basis in truth."

State Attorney Willie Meggs says the Wakulla County division is interviewing all absentee voters to make their final decision. He says over the phone that it is his "understanding that FDLE investigated and found nothing."

"It is a definite lie because I have people in my own family that were not contacted at all," said Rosier.

Rosier says the Florida Department of Justice also has their own investigation pending.

By: Elizabeth Nickerson
August 12, 2013

Sopchoppy, FL- Former Sopchoppy Commissioner Anginita Rosier continues to speak out against the way the city handled the June elections.

She claims she and former mayor Colleen Skipper lost the election because the city clerk actively campaigned against them and suppressed the minority vote. Now, FDLE is investigating those accusations.

"That is a responsible that lies with the Supervisor of Elections and there the ones that should be running elections not employees," said
Anginita Rosier, a Former Sopchoppy Commissioner.

Rosier says the City Clerk Jackie Lawhon abandoned her duty to remain neutral and not only actively campaigned, but ran the elections.

Lawhon declined to comment on the allegations.

The League of Women Voters are keeping a watchful eye on this investigation. The organization says that a recent Supreme Court rulling will be changed because of this controversy.

"Take action to ensure the voting rights act is reinstituted to ensure that there is a proper formula that the voting laws are fair to all voters and no voter is discriminated against," said Jessica Minor, from the League of Women Voters.

Two weeks after the Sopchoppy June elections, the supreme court took out a key provision in the Voting Rights Acts, requiring southern states, like Florida, to get Federal approval before changing elections procedures.

According to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling, the provision was taking out because of the nation's racial progress since the 1960s.

FDLE is still investigating on the allegations.

But when information becomes available we will give you all the the latest.

Sopchoppy, FL - Racism was a factor in losing the Sopchoppy city elections. A former City Commissioner and Mayor are making that claim.

Colleen Skipper-Mitchell and Anginita Rosier are headed to Tallahassee to file an official complaint to the State Division of Elections for the mishandling of absentee ballots and public claims of voter suppression.

Anginita Rosier: "The allegations are very serious and we intend to have them investigated fully and If they prove to be true, if they were any actual law violations they would actually be uncovered."

According to Rosier, the County's Supervisor of Elections will be holding a Town Hall meeting about voter suppression. A meeting time hasn't been selected yet. It's expected to be within two weeks and open to the public.

By: Mike Springer
June 11, 2013

Winners of Sopchoppy City Commission Race:

Eddie Evans

Nathan Willis

Glenn Rudd

By: Mike Springer

Sopchoppy, FL - The Wakulla Democratic Party says absentee ballots are being mishandled and voters are being suppressed in Sopchoppy.

Sopchoppy residents were voting today to elect City Commissioners-- and the Democratic Party says black voters were given incorrect information about absentee ballots. Wakulla's Supervisor of Elections says he's looking in to the claims.

Former City Commissioner Anginita Rosier says, "there are still complaints that are being looked in to."

She claims that a lot of people want to voice their concerns about how the election was handled, but they're afraid of retaliation.

She plans to meet with her attorney.

By: Elizabeth Nickerson

Sopchoppy, FL - The City of Sopchoppy is holding elections today. According to city officials, there have been allegations of voter suppression tactics. Also, allegations of mishandled absentee ballots. Commissioners up for re-election are speaking out about these reports.

Anginita Rosier, Sopchoppy Commissioner: "I can not and will not accept if this election if it is not handled properly and is not, you know, handled the legal way."

Willie Stevens, Sopchoppy voter: "I don't know there is something going on."

The local supervisor of elections and officials at the Florida Division of Elections are reviewing these reports.

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