Riverview man claims his family members are planning to attempt voter fraud

Jorge Rivera
Jorge Rivera

(WFLA) – In the shadow of the final presidential debate, a Tampa Bay area man claims he knows of attempted election cheating. Jorge Rivera, of Riverview, recently visited Miami, spending time with relatives from Puerto Rico. They announced plans to vote in the election.

“I said, ‘Well that is fraud. I mean you can not do that,'” Rivera said.

His relative told Rivera a lot of people are doing it. So, Rivera claims he contacted the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections.

“Well they told me that as long as they have a Social sSecurity number and address, that’s it,” he said.

A voter registration application asks for a Florida driver’s license or Florida identification card number. If you have neither, the application requests the last four digits of your Social Security number.

Puerto Ricans are US citizens. They can apply for Social Security numbers. A voter registration application also asks for an address where you live or receive mail.

Rivera claims he also contacted Florida’s Division of Elections about this. “They said, Well, there’s nothing we can do about it,'” he said.

Rivera also posted art to his Facebook page, as well the Facebook page of the Association of Puerto Ricans Living in Florida. He claims it was taken down.

8 On Your Side began looking into voter registration shenanigans when 83-year-old Marina Agosto of Hillsborough County complained someone re-registered her without her permission. The new registration listed her as a Democrat, had a different birth year, and the signature on the application appeared much different than the several she wrote in front of us.

“I did not sign, I did not sign,” Agosto said.

Supervisor of Elections Communications Director Gerri Kramer did not think the application, which was approved by the state, was at all suspicious. “This is one person, and we haven’t heard anything else. We haven’t heard of other problems,” Kramer said.

The Supervisor of Elections Office did contact the third-party voter organization group that submitted the new voter registration application for Agosto.  Representatives of Mi Familia Vota met with elections officials after we pressed for answers.

Mi Familia Vota’s Ben Monterroso told 8 On Your Side the person responsible for submitting the application no longer works for the organization. He promised to investigate the 200 other applications she submitted.

Meanwhile, Agosto fired off a complaint about the incident to the Florida Division of Elections. She has not yet heard back from the state.

According to Florida Department of State Director of Communications Meredith Beatrice, the office reviews complaints to determine if they are legally sufficient.  f a complaint is determined to be legally sufficient it is forwarded to the appropriate State Attorney’s Office or the statewide prosecutor.

Beatrice said she was also unaware of any complaints involving Puerto Ricans coming to Florida to cast ballots in the presidential election.

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