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Report: Absentee Ballots Stolen, Forged in One Florida County

Fraudsters stole and forged signatures on five absentee ballots in one Florida county, leading some victims to say they won’t vote by mail again.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that a few voters in Seminole County thought their absentee ballots were taking too long to arrive in the mail:

By mid-October, Susan Halperin became concerned that she and her husband hadn’t received their absentee ballots in the mail.

So Lawrence Halperin called the Seminole County Supervisor of Elections Office to find out what was going on. He was stunned to learn their ballots had already been cast. Someone had stolen the Halperins’ ballots, faked their signatures and voted.

“He was just floored,” said Susan Halperin, a registered Democrat. “To think that someone would actually steal my ballot and fill it out is creepy.”

The Halperins, who live in the Spring Valley neighborhood of Altamonte Springs just south of State Road 436, weren’t the only victims. Supervisor of Elections Mike Ertel said they were among five voters in three homes in Spring Valley whose absentee ballots were stolen and then fraudulently submitted with votes cast by someone else.

Seminole County’s Supervisor of Elections Mike Ertel wouldn’t say which candidate the forged ballots were cast for. This is the first time such a case has happened since he assumed his role in 2005, he said.

Both registered Republicans and Democrats had ballots stolen and their signatures forged. 

Registered Republicans have a slight edge on registered Democrats in Seminole County, outnumbering them by roughly 15,000 voters.

Victims were allowed to re-submit their ballots.

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