State Watch

Three charged with voting fraud in Florida retirement community

Three Florida residents in The Villages community near Orlando were arrested on voter fraud charges on Monday for allegedly voting more than once in last year’s election. 

Police arrested Jay Ketcik, Joan Halstead and John Rider for voting more than once, News 6 reported. All three residents are from The Villages in Sumter County, about an hour from Orlando.

All three individuals were reported by the Sumter County Supervisor of Elections. They face third-degree felony fraud charges, which carries up to five years in prison if convicted.

Both Halstead and Ketcik turned themselves in to police but intend to fight the charges, according to News 6.

Former President Trump has repeatedly made allegations, none of which have been substantiated, that widespread voter fraud led him to lose the election. 

There were differing reports on the party affiliations of the three people arrested, though it appears at least two are Republicans.

The New York Times reported, citing voter registration records, that Ketcik and Halstead were registered as Republicans, and that there was no party affiliation record for Rider.

News 6 reported that at the time of the 2020 election, all three people arrested were registered as Republicans. 

Both news outlets reported that there are not records to show who the three voted for. 

Ketcick, 63, voted by mail in October 2020 but also cast an absentee ballot in his home state of Michigan. 

Halstead, 71, voted in-person in Florida and cast an absentee ballot in New York. 

Rider, 61, was arrested on Dec. 3, and details of his charges were not immediately available. Rider was a registered Republican but switched to no party affiliation around the time of his arrest, News 6 reported.

In 2020, Florida received 262 election fraud complaints and referred 75 of those to authorities, according to Florida’s newly created election integrity webpage.

An Associated Press investigation published today showed that in six battleground states, there were fewer than 475 cases of voter fraud.

Trumps’ rhetoric, however, has fueled election integrity pushes nationwide, including in Florida. In his proposed budget, Florida Gov. Rick DeSantis announced $5.7 million in funding for an election police force.

Tags Arrest ballots Donald Trump Election Florida Joe Biden Sumter County The Villages Trump Voter fraud
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