Nassau County Elections Website Offers ‘Report Voter Fraud’ Button, Fueling Distrust Concern

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NASSAU COUNTY, Florida. — Since its October 2021 renovation, the home page of the Nassau County Supervisor of Elections’ office website greets visitors with a full-screen sign featuring a large red link urging them to “report voter fraud.”

The link takes users to the Florida Division of Elections website, specifically its Election Integrity page, which is also linked on the home page of this site.

“I would tend to agree that having it front and center, the very first thing you see on the website, it doesn’t send the right message, I think, to the average voter who is maybe trying to just looking for information when the next election is how they can register to vote and then all of a sudden you almost see this big warning,” said Abdelilah Skhir, voting rights policy strategist at the American Civil Liberties Union “I think that tends to have the potential to stoke those fears.”

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Suffrage advocates fear that highlighting these links will legitimize the false narrative of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election.

These false claims have been credited with ushering in a series of local and state election reform measures that have been widely criticized as “voter suppression”.

“Where does the danger come from, stoking these suspicions and fears for the average person when lawmakers really know better,” Skhir said. “And that’s really what concerns us because when you continue to stoke those fears, you start to undermine democracy itself.”

“Attempts to criminalize voting reflect nothing more than misinformation used by anti-election activists and politicians as a Trojan horse to create obstacles to voting and advance their agenda,” said Poy Winichakul, a lawyer for the voting rights at the Southern Poverty Law Center. “From new laws criminalizing elections that encourage voter harassment, like SB 524, to attempts to make voting less accessible, like SB 90, it is important to call out and stand up to these barriers to voting everywhere. we see them.”

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According to the Florida Division of Elections, 262 voter fraud complaint forms were received by the department in 2020, and 75 were referred to law enforcement.

“There is no endemic electoral fraud. No local or national investigation has ever revealed widespread voter fraud,” Winichakul said. “And we are really concerned that this justification for voter fraud has been disproportionately amplified, very exaggerated, to give it a meaning that would create a justification for barriers to voting, as we see in the legislation that has was recently adopted.

News4JAX received an email response to its questions from Nassau County Supervisor of Elections Janet Adkins:

  • News4JAX: What prompted the office to prominently feature the link on its website?

  • News4JAX: When was this link added to this site?

    • Adkins: “The Voter Fraud link has always been available on our website. In 2021, our website was redesigned. The Election Fraud button has been displayed more prominently for informational purposes for citizens. »

  • News4JAX: How many submissions has the page garnered since this link was posted?

  • News4JAX: How many submissions led the office to uncovering actual cases of voter fraud?

  • News4JAX: How many cases of voter fraud did Nassau County experience in the 2020 and 2021 elections?

    • Adkins: “Six cases of potential voter fraud in the 2020 general election have been forwarded to the state’s attorneys office. In 2021, we conducted a mail-in election and did not identify any potential voter fraud issues.

On Friday, the day after this article was first published, the Nassau County Supervisor of Elections posted this response to the story:

The Nassau County Office of Elections launched a new website in October 2021, transitioning to a fully ADA-compliant .gov domain. The website has a “Report Voter Fraud” button that allows voters to report suspected voter fraud to the Florida Department of State.

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“The News4Jax article falsely implies that this feature ‘fuels mistrust’. Nothing could be further from the truth.” said Elections Supervisor Janet H. Adkins. “This feature has been available on the website for 20 years for the convenience of our constituents. Everything we do at the Office of the Nassau County Supervisor of Elections is focused on transparency and building confidence in our elections.

To increase public confidence in the Nassau County elections, Supervisor Janet Adkins launched an advisory council comprised of diverse community members of all demographics, including party affiliation, gender, race , age, etc. The council provides an opportunity to increase trust, improve transparency, and two-way communication between the office of elections and the citizens of Nassau County.

Our office plans to launch a mobile app in the coming weeks. This new technology will allow our voters to have immediate access to electoral information and to stay connected throughout the electoral cycle.

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“Election security and the integrity of Nassau County’s voter rolls are top priorities for my staff and I as we prepare for the upcoming election. We will report voter fraud and ensure that every election in the county of Nassau is being conducted fairly and with the highest level of accuracy.I encourage any citizen with knowledge of voter fraud in Florida to contact the Department of State at 850-245-6500″ -Supervisor of Elections Janet H. Adkins.

For any election-related questions or concerns, please feel free to contact 904-491-7500 or [email protected].

The Citizens’ Elections Advisory Council met on Friday afternoon.

Copyright 2022 by WJXT News4Jax – All Rights Reserved.

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