400,000 Questionable Addresses Remain on Florida Voter Rolls, Watchdog Group Says

400,000 Questionable Addresses Remain on Florida Voter Rolls, Watchdog Group Says
A view of the Okaloosa County courthouse in Crestview, Fla., from which 9,652 people were registered to vote in 2020. (Courtesy of Kris Jurksi)
Steven Kovac
2/22/2023
Updated:
2/23/2023
0:00

A private, not-for-profit, conservative organization of political and social reformers has obtained evidence they say shows that Florida’s voter rolls are a mess. And group members want something done about it.

The Florida Republican Assembly (FRA) “cyber team” analyzed the nearly 15 million names and addresses on the state voter roll, the group’s vice president for voter integrity, Kris Jurski, told The Epoch Times.

In the review, they discovered that at least 400,000 Florida voter registrations did not have a standardized address and are, therefore, considered undeliverable by the United States Postal Service (USPS).

The voter rolls are filled with “variation upon variation” of the same address, Jurski said.

“The bad guys know this. They do the same big-data analyses that we do. These unverifiable addresses are easily identified and are harvestable. They can be easily poached for illegal voting.”

The FRA team carefully investigated the entire original cohort of questionable registrations which numbered over 500,000 and eliminated more than 100,000 that could be reasonably explained, Jurski said.

“The whole premise of our election system is to have people vote from their valid residential address in order to influence the direction and conduct of their government.”

A chart shows the best and worst Florida counties in terms of clean voter rolls. (Courtesy of Kris Jurski)
A chart shows the best and worst Florida counties in terms of clean voter rolls. (Courtesy of Kris Jurski)

As of September 2022, about 220,000 voters who moved during the preceding four years were still registered to vote at their old address. And 18,000 of them voted in the November 2022 election, according to the FRA study.

“That might not sound like much, but if they are concentrated in a small area, it’s enough to influence the outcome of many close local and even statewide elections,” Jurski said.

FRA investigators also discovered that there were 24,000 duplicate votes cast in Florida in the 2020 presidential election. And they found that more than 100,000 Florida voters are registered to vote from business addresses—something that is not illegal in Florida.

However, the Florida Secretary of State’s office wrote in 2018 that the “plain meaning of ’residence' entails dwelling or living at a place” The opinion also said that the determination of residency is a complex matter that must be considered on an individual basis.

The FRA study said there are instances of active military serving out-of-state who legitimately vote from a public building as their residence. There are also some families residing at the back or upstairs of their store and voting from that location. But many voters claiming residency in large public and commercial buildings that are clearly not designed for human habitation may not be qualified to vote.

An example of a commercial building from which thousands of people are registered to vote in Green Cove Springs, Fla. (Courtesy of Kris Jurski)
An example of a commercial building from which thousands of people are registered to vote in Green Cove Springs, Fla. (Courtesy of Kris Jurski)

For example, there were 9,252 people registered to vote using the Okaloosa County Courthouse address, and 6,178 of those voters cast ballots in 2020, according to FRA.

About 2,000 of those registered to vote from the courthouse also listed a nearby campground as their place of residence and registered to vote from both addresses.   

It is unclear why the 2,000 individuals are not registered to vote from the address at which they claim to live.

“When a single voter has two or more addresses, it becomes quite confusing, or worse,” said Jurski. “This may be happening because they are filling out multiple forms, or county supervisors of elections may have for some reason changed their records.”

FRA investigators said they found three or four instances around the state where a bad actor using one voter ID card received four ballots that had been sent to four different addresses.

More Investigation Needed

Jurski said that numerous cases unearthed by FRA analysts should be investigated by the police.

In an online statement, the Elections Division of the Florida Secretary of State’s office said in 2020 it received 262 complaints, 75 of which were referred to law enforcement or county prosecutors.

The Elections Division is continuing to receive and investigate complaints from citizens, the statement said.

The need for single-point delivery addresses for active military is often the reason given by Florida elections officials to explain why so many individuals vote from one building.

Indeed, it’s common for the government to assign a public building as a voting address to Floridians actively serving out-of-state in the military, Jurski said.

However, after investigating thousands of individual cases, FRA analysts found that, of the 2.000 voters who called the campground home, the vast majority were non-military.

Of the 1,870 people registered to vote from the address of the Okaloosa County Courthouse in Crestview, Florida, only 20 were found to be military.

State Asked to Explain

Jurski said he has not received a satisfactory explanation from election authorities as to why so many non-military voters are registered to vote from a government building.

A yacht club in Clay County has had patrons listing boat slips as their place of residency and using the address of a nearby commercial building to register to vote, the FRA study said.

Jurski says their problem, according to the 2018 Secretary of State’s opinion, is “that neither a vehicle nor a vessel may be fairly characterized as a place where a person has a fixed abode, so they are using the building.”

“In this instance, 4,363 people from 50 different counties are registered to vote from that single address,” he said.

Voting records show that 3,662 (over 84 percent) of them voted in 2020 using that address–a turnout percentage higher than the general population, according to Jurski.

Also in 2020, the Miami-Dade County elections office was the registered address used by 10,594 people, of which 6,734 voted in the November election, the FRA study found.

A single address delivery location in Miami-Dade County, Fla. from which thousands of people voted in 2020. (Courtesy of Kris Jurski)
A single address delivery location in Miami-Dade County, Fla. from which thousands of people voted in 2020. (Courtesy of Kris Jurski)

Canvassers Discover Fictitious Addresses 

“We would never have been able to know about this kind of thing if it wasn’t for the citizen volunteers from the Defend Florida organization, who knocked on 85,000 doors to verify who was living there,” said Jurski. “Their efforts uncovered some completely fictitious addresses.

“Somehow these fake addresses are being entered into the voting rolls. And somehow these ‘undeliverable’ addresses receive ballots—and somebody is voting them. This must be looked into further. We want to see legislation introduced to address this problem.”

Though the GOP controls the governorship and both houses of the Florida legislature, Jurski said “It’s time for changes to be made or for some officials to lose their jobs.”

“With 400,000 voter registrations lacking a standardized address, bad things are happening,“ he said. ”For example, it is impossible for the names of move-aways to be picked up by the United States Postal Service’s National Change of Address (NCOA) registry, if they do not have a CASS [Coding Accuracy Support System] standardized address. That means thousands of these people are slipping through the cracks.

“Keeping up with these moves is a terribly difficult task at best and is made worse by the lack of standardized addresses.”

One Florida voter was issued a voter ID card for a street that doesn't exist. (Courtesy of Kris Jurski)
One Florida voter was issued a voter ID card for a street that doesn't exist. (Courtesy of Kris Jurski)

State Election Official Responds 

Mark Ard, External Affairs Director for the Florida Department of State, told The Epoch Times that state election officials appreciate the public’s involvement in the elections process, and that the state government is doing its “due diligence to investigate the claims.”

Ard said Gov. Ron DeSantis has allotted millions through his “Framework for Freedom Budget” to continue to improve and modernize the Florida voter registration system.

According to Ard, the USPS CASS database examined by citizen groups has “limitations … compared to the data captured by quality control at the local level.”

While he praised the ongoing list maintenance procedures conducted by the state’s 67 county supervisors of elections, Ard did not explain why, given their efforts, 400,000 problematic addresses remain on the voter rolls.

In his email to The Epoch Times, Ard offered several reasons for many of the alleged erroneous registrations and the multiple people who vote from single point delivery locations. He mentioned remote rural locations with no mail delivery available—nursing homes, college campuses, apartment houses, and mobile home parks—as legitimate explanations.

Jurski countered, saying that the FRA study took all of those scenarios into account in compiling its numbers.

Examples of multiple variations of a single address on Florida's voter rolls. (Courtesy of Kris Jurski)
Examples of multiple variations of a single address on Florida's voter rolls. (Courtesy of Kris Jurski)

What Is a ‘Standardized Address?’

A standardized address conforms to the USPS’s Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS).

Consumers can find an example of a CASS standardized address consisting of their ZIP code plus four additional digits and a delivery point code on parcels sent to them by major online retailers.

“Big companies use CASS standardized addresses to improve customer satisfaction through timely, problem-free deliveries. It also results in significant savings in shipping costs, including discounted postage rates,” said Jurski.

Using the CASS standardized addresses, the NCOA can accurately track people that move within their community and state, as well as those who move out-of-state, to ensure updated and correct addresses for the use of the postal service’s individual and business customers, and even the government.

Purging the voter rolls of non-standardized and, therefore, undeliverable addresses and converting all voter registration addresses to the CASS format is a simple, cost-effective solution to the problem, according to Jurski.

“It’s not like we have to build a new Manhattan Project to solve this. A comprehensive implementation of the existing CASS system can remove all undeliverable addresses from the Florida voter rolls,” he said.

‘ERIC Is Not the Answer’ 

The state of Florida will pay $575,000 this year to the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), a national non-profit which contracts with states to clean up their voter rolls and keep them accurate.

“Since ERIC relies on NCOA data, it can’t be doing a thorough job of cleaning and maintaining the rolls, and neither can our state and local election officials. ERIC should be pushing for every registered voter in Florida to have a CASS standardized residential address,” Jurski said.

Having built a tech system to monitor the voting rolls on an ongoing basis, FRA says it will make its findings known to county and state election officials and the general public every month.

Jurski told The Epoch Times that some county election supervisors are glad for FRA assistance, while others are pushing back and denying the need for it.

Steven Kovac reports for The Epoch Times from Michigan. He is a general news reporter who has covered topics related to rising consumer prices to election security issues. He can be reached at [email protected]