Allies of the Democratic Party “have shown a willingness to commit fraud across the country, in both this election cycle and recent years,” the campaign of Florida Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott said Monday in announcing his campaign’s “Honest Voter Hotline.” Voters are encouraged to “report any instances of irregularities at the polls, including voter fraud, intimidation, violence and electioneering.”
Rob Jakubik, a Scott spokesman, said in the statement that, given the tightness of the polls, “all examples of fraud must be addressed to preserve the integrity of the election.” But a spokesman for the campaign told TPMMuckraker they haven’t had any indications of voter fraud so far.
The press release said that in 2008, “multiple forms of voter fraud occurred, including voter intimidation, fraudulent registrations, multiple ballots cast and votes bought for money.”
“Already during the 2010 election cycle, Florida law enforcement is investigating instances of absentee fraud, and people who may have double voted in the August primary,” the press release stated.
Scott spokesman Trey Stapleton told TPMMuckraker that the hotline was just a precaution.
“I don’t think we’re necessarily concerned about voter fraud, it’s just more of a precaution just in case,” Stapleton said. “It’s always better to have those numbers as a sort of back up just in case somebody sees something.”
Stapleton said they haven’t seen any voter fraud complaints, as far as he knew.
Voter fraud is “always a concern,” Jennifer Davis, a spokeswoman with the Florida Department of State, told TPMMuckraker. “This year we have had 36 elections fraud complaints, but a lot of them were not legally sufficient,” and the others were referred to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE).
FDLE spokesman Keith Kemeg told TPMMuckraker that headquarters was not aware of any voter fraud complaints.
“At this point, we at FDLE headquarters are not aware of any open investigations regarding voter fraud,” Kemeg said. “We are reviewing one complaint regarding questionable ballots in the Lake City, Florida City Commission race. We’re asking that if anybody has any complaints about voter irregularity or voter fraud that they refer them to the Department of State, Division of Elections.”
A spokeswoman for Scott’s opponent, Democrat Alex Sink, said that voter protection is “incredibly important” and that the campaign had locations set up to make sure that voters were aware of their rights.
“Voter protection is never something you want to underestimate,” Sink spokeswoman Alexandra Fetissoff told TPMMuckraker.
The Republican Party of Florida did not immediately respond to a request for comment.