Democrat alleges ballot harvesting widespread in Florida

by Jacob Fuller

Curt Flewelling, FISM News


The Florida Department of State announced on Wednesday that a full-scale criminal probe is now underway to investigate allegations of widespread ballot harvesting in the Sunshine State.

Former Orange County Commissioner candidate Cynthia Harris (D) filed a sworn affidavit with the Florida Secretary of State’s office alleging that illegal operations to collect third-party ballots have been going on for years in the Orlando area.

The Office of Election Crimes and Security (OECS) reviewed her claims and deemed them credible enough to warrant a full criminal probe. The case has been turned over to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for further investigation.

Harris claims that voting “activists” are paid $10 for each ballot they collect. The collection and delivery of ballots (ballot harvesting) by third parties is a felony of the third degree in the state of Florida.

A person who distributes, orders, requests, collects, delivers, or otherwise physically possesses more than two vote-by-mail ballots per election in addition to his or her own ballot, is in violation of Florida election law.

The practice has been under more scrutiny in the wake of election integrity concerns coming out of the 2020 presidential election. Since then, allegations such as these have been echoed repeatedly across the country, particularly in the battleground states of Pennsylvania, Georgia, Wisconsin, and Arizona, where numerous individuals have been convicted for harvesting ballots.

Harris said that her biggest reason for coming forward is that ballots collected by third parties have no chain of custody, making it easier to commit fraud such as destroying a ballot or altering it.

She told Just the News, “You know, it’s just utterly ridiculous that people don’t understand that once that ballot leaves your hand and it’s not placed in the mailbox, or it’s not given to the supervisor of elections, you don’t know where it goes, it’s possible that they throw them away, we’ve seen evidence of that.” She continued, “You see them steam open the ballots and then they mismark them so if it’s not for their candidate, then that ballot is spoiled.”

In her affidavit, she chronicles how “ballot brokers” routinely target the most vulnerable in the community. She cites how rehabilitation centers and nursing homes are prime targets for the illegal practice. She also asserts that communities of color are routinely preyed upon by ballot harvesters. Harris claims this is simply an accepted practice in the African American community.

On the “Just the News, No Noise” television show, Harris said, “So what happens is in our community when absentee ballots are mailed, you the candidate or any political party can find out when the absentee ballots are mailed and to whom what happens is these ballot harvesters, they know which batch has gone out, they go to the door and they ask you for your absentee ballot.”

Although ballot harvesting has plagued Florida for years, Governor DeSantis has a message for anyone thinking about ballot harvesting or fraudulently voting. At a recent press conference in Fort Lauderdale he said, “If you commit an election crime, you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”