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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Jan. 25, 200512:00 PM EST

Vote fraud suspected

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An investigation of 59 cases involving double voting in the November presidential election has been launched here.

Flanked by U.S. Attorney Paul Perez and other federal officials, Interim Supervisor of Elections Bill Scheu said Monday that the cases may involve either “victims or perpetrators” of the federal and state offense.

During an Elections Office’s internal investigation late last year, it was found that early, absentee and election day voting were all used to cast double votes in 41 cases. Another

18 provisional ballots were never counted.

“I promised the voters of Duval County a fair, accurate, accessible and legal election,” he said. “Unfortunately, these suspect votes have been cast, but it has been my goal to ensure proper legal action is taken against anyone who chose to compromise the integrity of the voting process.”

Perez was unsure how long the pending criminal investigation would last. However, he said, it could take as long as 90 days.

Scheu said there was no definitive double voting pattern and that possible perpetrators represented “a large cross-section of people.”

Voter records confirmed discrepancies in party affiliation, race and gender. However, names will not be released until after the investigation concludes.

Voting or attempting to vote twice carries a maximum five-year prison sentence and/or a $10,000 fine.

— by J. Brooks Terry

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