FBI to investigate bogus election letters

Oct 24, 2012

The following article was published in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune on October 24, 2012: 

FBI to investigate fraudulent election letters

Staff report


The FBI has opened an investigation into bogus letters appearing to come from local elections supervisors in Florida, the agency announced Wednesday.

The letters, which close to two dozen people in Sarasota and Manatee counties have reported receiving, tell voters their citizenship status is in question and they must return a form with personal identifying information within 15 days or be removed from the rolls and face arrest. Voters in at least 28 counties have reported getting the letters, which are postmarked from Seattle.

The letters are written to make it look like they came from the recipient’s local supervisor of elections office. The envelopes carry a similar notation. But they are not official letters and supervisors are alerting residents of the hoax.

Although the majority of the voters receiving the letters are Republicans, some Democrats and people with no party affiliations are also getting them. For example, eight voters have received the letters in Pinellas County. Of the eight, four are Republicans, three are Democrats and one has no party affiliation.

It is not clear what the FBI will be investigating, but since these letters were delivered by the U.S. Postal Service, mail fraud — a federal crime — would be a possible charge. An FBI agent picked up four letters sent to Republican voters in Brevard County on Tuesday, according to Lori Smith, the supervisor of elections in that county.

The Tampa field office of the FBI is asking for voters in Southwest and Central Florida who get the letters to save them and report them to the agency at (866) 838-1153.

The Florida Division of Elections and state law enforcement officials are also investigating the fake letters.

Information from the Tampa Bay Times was used in this report

View the orignial article here:  http://politics.heraldtribune.com/2012/10/24/fbi-to-investigate-fraudulent-election-letters/