Kindly Florida Woman Changes Voters' Registration To Republican, Sparing Them Eternal Damnation In Socialist Hell
Cheryl A. Hall of Florida (of course) was charged Thursday with the crime of conjuring up Republican voters from thin air. This magic trick involved filling out voter registration forms with false information and enrolling at least six Democratic and independent voters in the Republican Party without their consent.
Hall worked for the voter registration group Florida First, which received much of its funding from America First Policies. The solipsistic name should clue you in that the organization supports Donald Trump. Last year, America First Policies declared its plans to invest $20 million on voter registration.
"There are millions of patriotic Americans who believe in the America First movement, but aren't registered to vote," said America First Policies President Brian O. Walsh. "Returning power to the people requires an active, engaged citizenry. Let your voice be heard. Join the movement. Register today."
This was a stark change from the normal Republican tactics of actively preventing people from voting. Hall believed in America First's mission so fully she didn't just register new voters, she made them Republicans at the same time! No fuss, no muss! It's unclear if she also subscribed them to So You No Longer Care About Your Fellow Humans magazine.
Alan Hays, supervisor of elections in Lake County, Florida, which is somewhere near Disney World, said Hall was charged with submitting 10 false voter registration forms, but it's possible she might've submitted another 109 forms with phony information. She was quite the motivated self-starter in election fraud. Hays was alerted to Hall's dirty tricks when voters contacted his office complaining that their party registration had changed.
Hays can't guess what motive Hall, who works for a pro-Trump organization, would have for altering voter registration forms to the benefit of the Republican Party. Hays is himself a Republican and apparently very good at missing the obvious. Florida's presidential primary is March 17, and Lake City started early voting on Thursday. Florida's primary is closed, which means you can't vote in a party's primary unless you're a registered member of it.
Although Hays is rightly appalled by Hall's actions, he thinks it's "really bizarre" that Hall believed her mad scheme could ever work. The forms had the correct names of voters ... and that's about it. Their dates of birth, Social Security numbers, turn ons and turn offs, and other details were all wrong, so the county election database automatically flagged them as unverifiable. The fudged forms were stamped with a number belonging to Florida First. When master sleuth Hays contacted the group, the forms were easily traced back to Hall. If she was trying to frame herself for election fraud, she succeeded admirably.
HAYS: I don't know what part of her imagination was convinced she could get away with this.
Hall was charged with 10 counts of submitting false voter registration information, a third-degree felony that could cost her a $5,000 fine or up to five years in prison. Well, at least she didn't try to vote by accident like a common black woman. Lt. John Herrell of the Lake County Sheriff's Office remains puzzled over Hall's motives.
HERRELL: We don't know what she was hoping to accomplish.
Hall is a registered Republican who works for a Republican organization and changed voters' registration to Republican. You don't need Columbo for this. The 2000 presidential election was decided in Florida by 537 votes. One corrupt apple in the bunch could very well change the course of history. Herrell also believes Hall just "went off the rails" and that it "certainly does not appear" as if Florida First did anything wrong. That's an interesting position to take, considering that Florida First submitted forms with false information that didn't match Hall's handwriting. Hays at least is on the ball enough to grasp that this means other at the organization might've been involved.
Florida First's state director, Elicia Babac, released a statement claiming the group was "actively working with the Lake County Supervisor of Elections to ensure every voter is properly registered to vote." I can't help but think there's a silent "as a Republican" attached there like the "in bed" clause for a fortune cookie.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).