Fraudulent letters called 'voter intimidation'

Duval County supervisor of elections issues warning to voters

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Ron Mallett says he was very surprised when he got a letter this weekend telling him his citizenship is in question and he may not be able to vote in the upcoming election. The former Marine has voted in nearly every election in the last four decades.

"It was a little concerning, and after digging into it a little deeper, it was apparent it could not be real," Mallet said. "But gee, a lot of people would get this and say, 'Gee, if I am not a citizen, I am not going to vote.'"

The letter appears to be from Duval County Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland. It says he has to fill out a form and return it to Holland, and if that is not done within 15 days, his name will be removed from the voter roll.

Holland says the letter is not from his office. He doesn't know who sent it. No one seems to know where it came from or why it was sent.

On Monday, Holland sent a media release "warning voters to be aware of a fraudulent letter instructing voters to prove they are a citizen of the United States." He urges anyone who receives the letter to notify the elections office at 904-630-1414.

DOCUMENT: Fraudulent letter to voters

Vicky Oakes, St. Johns County Supervisor of Elections, also issued a statement that the letters were being sent to some voters.  Any St. Johns County resident receiving the letter is asked to call 904-823-2238.

"It is also very important to retain the envelope and all papers so they can be turned over to investigating authorities," Oakes said.

Holland isn't really to call the fake letters voter fraud, but does say it's voter intimidation.

"It's really telling these voters they may not be eligible and maybe, in a sense, you should not go vote. And that is a concern to us," Holland said.

It is also a concern to state investigators, who are now getting similar reports from several other counties, including St Johns and Brevard.

Mallett's letter was postmarked in Seattle, but directs correspondence to the local elections office.

"We have isolated so far that the letters have all gone to Republican super voters -- those who vote in every election," Holland said. "So its an out-of-state letter and again, its targeting a certain group of voters and telling them they may not be eligible to vote because of their U.S. citizenship."

It may make it more real that it comes at a time there is a push from state officials to purge voters who are not U.S. citizens.

"I would like to find out who did it. They need to be held accountable for it," Mallett said. "Obviously, it is voter fraud. The purpose for it is to prevent people from voting."