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Florida First worker arrested on 10 counts of filing false voter applications

Cheryl A. Hall. Photo: LCSO
Cheryl A. Hall. Photo: LCSO

A Clermont woman turned herself in Thursday on a warrant for 10 felony counts of submitting false voter registration information.

The arrest came after the Lake County Supervisor of Elections Office found false information on 119 applications that sometimes changed the party affiliations for Democrats and independent voters.

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Cheryl A. Hall. Photo: LCSO[/caption]

Cheryl Hall, 63, worked as a field representative for the third-party voter registration organization Florida First, with headquarters in Pinellas Park.

A contact for the organization lists himself on Twitter as a political operative with Republican connections. The Miami Herald reported in August that a Trump-affiliated super PAC had formed the group to register voters.

On Wednesday, Supervisor of Elections Alan Hays went out of his way to stress that Florida First has been helpful in the investigation. He said the organization had suspended its use of the field representative.

In an email, Florida First said it is not answering questions about the arrest.

It provided a prepared statement from State Director Elicia Babac, saying: "Florida First is actively working with the Lake County Supervisor of Elections to ensure every voter is properly registered to vote. "

Investigators made the connection to Hall through the serial numbers on the forms she turned in to Florida First. Those forms were submitted to elections supervisors in Seminole and Orange counties and then transferred to Lake County.

The voter applications often contained bad information, such as false birth dates and Social Security numbers, Hays said.

They sometimes switched existing party affiliations from Democratic or independent to Republican. And that's how the alleged fraud came to light.

Hays said Democratic voters called his office when notified of the change.

Joe Byrnes came to Central Florida Public Media from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.