4th resident of The Villages arrested for allegedly voting multiple times

THE VILLAGES, Florida. – A fourth resident of The Villages has been arrested in connection with an ongoing voter fraud investigation.

Charles Franklin Barnes, 64, was jailed Tuesday night in Sumter County Jail for casting more than one ballot in an election, a third-degree felony punishable by five years in prison.

Barnes was later released on $2,000 bond, records show.

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Court records detailing Barnes’ alleged crime were not immediately available.

Voter registration records show Barnes was not affiliated with a political party in Florida when he voted in the 2020 election.

Barnes was also registered to vote in his home state of Connecticut in 2020, records show.

Three other residents of The Villages were also arrested recently for allegedly voting in Florida and their home country.

John Rider, Jay Ketcik and Joan Halstead have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

All three were registered as Republicans at the time of the 2020 election, according to voter records.

Anonymous emails sent to Florida’s secretary of state in May by someone using the pseudonym “Totes Legit Votes” sparked the voter fraud investigation, according to court records obtained.

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The self-proclaimed “citizen election integrity analyst” reportedly used publicly available voter registration data to identify many Florida voters who might also have voted in other states.

“I believe that if hundreds of people are signing affidavits saying they saw election irregularities, people should at least try to verify,” the anonymous tipster told News 6. “You can’t pretend that “the system works” if random internet people need to find the violations for you.

Mark Ard, spokesman for Florida Secretary of State Laurel Lee, did not respond to questions submitted by News 6 last month regarding the state’s response to anonymous emails identifying possible voter fraud.

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