In Florida county, felons vote illegally, ballots cast on behalf of long-dead, whistleblower claims

There were "no apparent changes implemented" by the Orange County Supervisor of Elections office to ensure that felons didn't vote again, alleges Brian Freid.

Voter fraud sign at Lupica Towers in Cleveland, Ohio, Nov. 4, 2008
Voter fraud sign at Lupica Towers in Cleveland, Ohio, Nov. 4, 2008
J.D. Pooley / Getty Images

Published: March 6, 2023 7:22pm

Updated: March 27, 2023 12:49pm

Election issues continue in Orange County, Fla., where, a whistleblower alleges, felons illegally voted, deceased voters requested and received mail-in ballots, voter addresses are changed without the voters requesting it, and multiple ballots are allowed to be dropped off without question. 

In a new affidavit filed with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), Brian Freid, a whistleblower in the Orange County Supervisor of Elections (SOE) office, alleges that since the SOE was notified last year by the state's Office of Election Crimes and Security that felons illegally voted in the county in the 2020 election, there have been "no apparent changes implemented ... to effectively ensure this does not happen again in the future."

In affidavits previously filed with FDLE, Freid a lifelong Democrat, alleged there is no oversight of the creation and management of ballots at the Orange County SOE, and private voter data was exfiltrated to hundreds of workers, potentially jeopardizing the security of thousands of protected voters. 

Freid was fired from his position as the SOE information systems director in October after he called for the firing of another SOE official cited for misconduct by two separate investigations.

Freid also claims that vote-by-mail ballots are being sent to deceased voters years after their deaths, despite their living relatives contacting the Orange County SOE to notify them that they're dead and to stop sending ballots. 

In Florida, Freid explained, voters are supposed to be removed from voter rolls after not voting in two presidential elections, which would be about five years. However, mail-in ballots are being sent to deceased voters as long as 10 or 20 years after their deaths, he alleged in an interview on Monday. 

"So somebody is voting on their behalf," Freid told Just the News, noting that a voter must request a mail-in ballot to receive it. 

Freid notes in his affidavit that the vote-by-mail ballot request form doesn't require the applicant to list their contact information, so there is no follow-up to check that the person requested a ballot. 

"It's very easy to commit fraud by requesting a vote-by-mail ballot," Freid told Just the News. 

There were also bulk updates to voter addresses without the voters requesting them, causing voters to complain that they hadn't received their sample or vote-by-mail ballots, Freid alleged. When that occurred, another ballot would be sent to the voter, he said, after a ballot was already sent to the changed address. 

Freid said that he couldn't find any processes or procedures to audit or check the addresses, "and no one seems to know who" did it or why. 

Orange County SOE Bill Cowles has, according to Freid, "stated that the SOE Office is not a law enforcement agency, so the people working at" ballot drop box locations "are not to take any action against anyone who is dropping off multiple ballots."

In Florida, a designated person can only pick up and drop off two ballots that don't belong to them or their immediate family during an election. 

Additionally, despite Florida law requiring a voter's signature to match when signing in at a precinct to vote, Cowles' election training instructs workers to reject a signature only if it's "substantially different," Freid alleges in his affidavit, in which he included the poll worker training manual. 

Asked about Freid's affidavit, FDLE told Just the News on Monday that the department "received a complaint and investigators are reviewing it."

The Orange County SOE did not respond to a request for comment on Monday. 

Cowles, a Democrat who has held office since 1996, announced last month that he won't seek reelection, Fox 35 reported. His term ends on Jan. 6, 2025. 

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