State fines voter registration group for alleged violations
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WWSB) - A third-party voter registration group working in Charlotte and Lee counties has been fined more than $45,000 for violating state statutes, state officials said.
The Office of Election Crimes and Security’s announcement of the fines coincides with a series of recent arrests in Charlotte and Lee counties of agents of Hard Knocks Strategies, who are suspected of submitting fraudulent voter registration applications from 2021-2022.
Investigators reviewed 2,868 voter registration applications collected by Hard Knocks Strategies, LLC’s, agents, that were submitted to election officials after the statutory deadline. Of these registrations, at least 116 were collected before – but not delivered until after – book closing deadlines.
They also say Hard Knocks Strategies also repeatedly turned in registrations to the incorrect county supervisors of elections, and in one instance, submitted 21 Florida voter registrations presumed to be from Texas residents.
The state attorney’s criminal investigation implicated six employees of Hard Knocks Strategies in Lee County, and a seventh in Charlotte County who are accused of submitting at least 58 fraudulent voter registration applications using the personal identification of others without their consent.
The investigation also alleges Hard Knocks Strategies does not conduct background checks on voter registration collection agents who handle sensitive information. Prosecutors say one defendant, at the time of his employment with Hard Knocks Strategies, was a 15-time convicted felon; another defendant, also a convicted felon, has three prior convictions for crimes involving dishonesty.
Copyright 2023 WWSB. All rights reserved.