Many of the bizarre complaints under investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement center around college campuses.
University of South Florida student Megan Altman was a Democrat from Wisconsin, but not after she was pressured into signing what she thought was a petition last month. The petition-gatherers actually slipped her a voter registration form. She confronted them the next day when she learned what they were up to.
“I went up to them and said you registered me as a Republican, and you registered me to vote, and I wasn’t going to vote in Florida. I was going to vote in Wisconsin, and they started calling me baby-killer, and they were going off on me.”
Megan’s not alone. Leon County Election Supervisor Ion Sancho started making phone calls when he received 1500 copies of apparently altered voter registrations.
Sancho says, “This has been done all across the state and this has the potential of confusing voters who are not regular voters. This may be the first time they have ever voted.”
The shenanigans have been so bizarre that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is now involved.
Tom Berlinger, spokesman of the FDLE, says, "We have reports of one woman registering herself 15 or 20 times, so there might be financial motivation rather than political motivation."
At least six different counties have reported strange activity. In some cases, authorities say people who don’t exist may have signed petitions, and dead people may have registered to vote.
Early voters are even complaining of so-called “election observers” pushing them out of the way and casting their ballots. Officials are urging all voters to report any bizarre activity immediately. But it appears some voters may have already been disenfranchised.
State elections officials have a new voter assistance hotline in place to help voters with any problems they may have during early voting.
Call 1-866-308-6739 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The hotline will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day.