Politico

Florida man charged after altering governor’s voter registration


TALLAHASSEE — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was briefly unable to vote this week because a 20-year-old Naples man altered the Republican governor’s home address in the state’s voter registration database.

Florida authorities arrested Anthony Steven Guevara late Tuesday and charged him with two counts, including felony voter fraud for changing someone’s registration without their consent.

DeSantis, who lives in Tallahassee, discovered that his address had been changed to West Palm Beach when he went to vote in Leon County on Monday afternoon, according to a report filed by the Collier County Sheriff’s Department. After being told that his address had been changed, DeSantis called the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Secretary of State Laurel Lee said that the situation “was corrected immediately” and the governor was able to vote.

The state’s voter registration system wasn’t breached and is secure, she said in a written statement.

“The Florida Department of State wants every voter to have confidence in the integrity of our elections network,” Lee said. The “incident was perpetrated using publicly accessible voter data” and there was no evidence the change was made through the state’s system.

FDLE agents were able to trace the address change request from the Leon County election office to a Naples home where they questioned Guevara. Guevara acknowledged changing the governor’s voter registration because he had DeSantis’s date of birth and showed officers how he was able to change the governor’s address through the state’s voter registration portal.

Guevara told authorities he also looked up voter information for U.S. Sen. Rick Scott and celebrities such as Michael Jordan and LeBron James, but that he altered only DeSantis’s address. Voter registration information is public in Florida and other states.

Guevara told them he changed DeSantis’s address to that of a You Tube personality.

DeSantis, who lives at the governor’s mansion just north of the state Capitol, switched his voter registration address to Leon County after he took office in 2019. DeSantis voted by mail in the August primary, but switched to in-person voting for the general election.

His spokesman, Fred Piccolo, told POLITICO last month that DeSantis made the switch because security protocols slow mail delivery to the mansion.

The governor has not publicly commented on the incident. Piccolo did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Leon County Supervisor of Elections Mark Earley did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Florida’s online voter registration system crashed on Oct. 5, the registration deadline ahead of this year’s presidential election. State authorities later said the crash was due to high levels of traffic and did not appear related to hacking.

The arrest was first reported by Southwest Florida television station WINK. Court records show that Guevara remains in custody in Collier County.

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