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Men accused of fraud mostly tried to register Democrats as Republicans, Duval elections official says

Investigators have said that the 60+ applications were caught, but the State Attorney’s Office said it doesn’t know how widespread the enterprise could be.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Duval County elections official tells News4Jax that the two men who are accused of fraudulently trying to register voters, some of whom had passed away, were mostly trying to register Democrats as Republicans.

Robert Phillips, chief elections officer for the Duval County Supervisor of Elections Office, has been working in Duval County elections for 30 years. He said Devin King and Jordan Daniels are the first people he can recall in the area facing charges related to voter fraud.

King and Daniels were arrested in November. Both are accused of trying to register more than 60 people to vote without their consent, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, and at least 10 of those would-be voters were deceased.

“We do know that they were registering people that were Democrats as Republicans, which is one of the things that tipped it off because it was in a geographic area that is very heavily Democratic,” Phillips said.

He says that wasn’t the case for every fraudulent application, but it was for most of them.

“Like more than 80%?” News4Jax asked him.

“Oh, I’d say so. Yes,” Phillips replied.

Phillips said another red flag was signatures that didn’t match.

The company that the men worked for at one time -- a petition and canvassing company called Grassfire -- has denied any involvement.

A partner with the company told News4JAX that Daniels and King worked for them for less than a week in June as petitioners and that the company has never conducted a voter registration project.

Nearly 100 companies are registered in Duval County to do third party registration. Grassfire isn’t one of them.

“One of the things that happens with several of these third party voter registration groups is the persons might get paid per application,” explained Phillips. “So that gives them some incentive to think they can probably insert several into the system.”

Investigators have said that the 60+ applications were caught, but the State Attorney’s Office said it doesn’t know how widespread the enterprise could be. If you get a new voter registration card in the mail and didn’t make any changes to your status, it should be reported to the Supervisor of Election’s Office.


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I-TEAM and general assignment reporter