The Absolutely True Story Of The Florida Homecoming Queen Hacker Mom!
In another data point arguing for the replacement of human beings by elephants or maybe manatees as the planet's top species, a Florida teen and her mother are facing multiple felony charges after breaking into student computer accounts to rig an election for high school homecoming queen.
Many media outlets are calling it hacking, but it's not exactly "hacking" if you already have administrator-level access to the computer system because you're a public school assistant principal, which is the case for the mom, Laura Rose Carroll. Her daughter, Emily Rose Grover, wanted to be homecoming queen last fall at J.M. Tate High School in Cantonment, Florida, a suburb of Pensacola.
Like any mom whose kid has a dream, Carroll helped out, not by printing up cheerful "Vote 4 Emily" T-shirts or helping her daughter with a speech but rather by using her access to the school district's FOCUS computer system. Carroll is the assistant principal of nearby Bellview Elementary School, so she had district-level access.
Maybe it'll make for a mildly amusing streaming movie. A lot depends on the screenplay and casting.
A Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) spokesperson explained this week that an investigation in November of last year found that the pair had accessed hundreds of student accounts to vote for Emily as homecoming queen.
In October 2020, hundreds of votes for Tate High School's Homecoming Court voting were flagged as fraudulent, with 117 votes originating from the same IP address within a short period of time," said a FDLE spokesperson.
"Agents uncovered evidence of unauthorized access to FOCUS linked to Carroll's cell phone as well as computers associated with their residence, with a total of 246 votes cast for the Homecoming Court."
Yet Democrats keep insisting there was no rigging of last fall's vote!
The thing about conspiracies is that it's really difficult to pull them off. Especially when one of the conspirators is 17 years old and thinks being homecoming queen is super important. Emily apparently told a bunch of friends at school about her neat trick, and word of the rigged election made it to the school district's student council coordinator. The evidence from the computer system, we'd note, was far more definitive than any of the loopy claims Rudy Giuliani made about the supposed skulduggery that elected Joe Biden.
On Tuesday, the Florida State Attorney's Office in Escambia announced that Emily, who was 17 at the time of the criming, would be tried as an adult. The Miami Herald lists the metric shit ton of charges she and her mom both face:
[Both] face multiple felony charges including third-degree criminal conspiracy; accessing computer systems, networks and electronic devices without authority; unlawful use of a two-way communications device to facilitate a felony; and criminal use of personally identifiable information of another person without consent.
Emily's charges include property crimes, fraud and public order crimes, according to court records.
Carroll was suspended from her job, because nobody wants an unprincipled principal, and Emily was expelled from the high school.
If convicted on all the felony counts, the two could go to prison for up to 16 years, which doesn't strike us as an especially good use of state resources. Relentless, court-ordered public mockery seems much more appropriate. Maybe they could be sentenced to a reality TV show that nobody watches, ever.
And this is your Open Thread!
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