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11 named in voter fraud allegation

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By Jeff M. Hardison

TALLAHASSEE - Eleven people are suspected of illegally voting in the Chiefland city election, which was Aug. 7, according to a complaint filed by former Chiefland City Commissioner Alice Monyei with the Florida Department of State, Division of Elections.

These 11 people allegedly live outside the city limits, which according to the city charter and state election laws, prohibits them from participating in city elections. They allegedly committed voter fraud, according to Monyei's complaint.

Six of them reportedly reside in buildings in areas zoned as non-residential, according to their voter registrations. Those six are Andy, Dennis, Kelby, Amy, Mary and Barbara Andrews.

Andy Andrews allegedly resides in the A.D. Andrews Nursery office at 13 S.E. First St. Dennis Andrews allegedly resides in the Andrews Land & Timber office at 1411 S. Main St. (U.S. Highway 19).

Dennis and Kelby Andrews reside together at the U.S. 19 address, and Andy, Amy, Barbara and Mary Andrews all allegedly reside at the First Street address, according to voter registration records.

Both offices are zoned exclusively for non-residential uses, according to Chiefland zoning ordinances.

Andy Andrews is the publisher of the Levy County Journal as well as owner of A.D. Andrews Nursery.

Kelby Andrews is a member of the Board of Directors of the Suwannee River Water Management District, as well as working for the family businesses.

Monyei named these six suspects at those addresses in her complaint to the Florida Department of State, Division of Elections.

In her complaint, she said Andy, Amy, Barbara, Kelby and Mary Andrews actually live at 9051 N.W. Highway 19 and that Dennis Andrews lives in Gainesville.

Alachua County property records show Andy and his wife Barbara H. Andrews own a Gainesville house, where they do not claim Homestead Exemption.

Levy County property records show Dennis Andrews owns a house on State Road 24, which is closer to Cedar Key than to Gainesville. Dennis Andrews claims Homestead Exemption on that property, according to records.

There are five other people Monyei alleged as committing voter fraud in the August election too.

Melanie G. Allen lists 1402 N.W. 13th St. as her address, but she really lives on the Suwannee River, Monyei said.

Allen is a member of the Chiefland Planning Board and she is a receptionist at Chiefland High School.

Marcus J. Corbin really lives in Gainesville, Monyei said, but he lists his sister's address of 1208 S.W. Third Ave. for voting.

Mary Golding lives at 8670 N.W. 168th Place, Fanning Springs, Monyei said, but Golding lists her address for voting as 303 N.W. Fourth Ave. Chiefland.

John Hart lists 201 N.W. Fourth Ave. for voting, but he really lives on U.S. Highway 129 outside the city limits, Monyei said in her complaint. Hart is a former City Commission member.

Lester R. Hunter lives in Newberry, Monyei said, where he moved about a year ago, but he lists 311 N.E. Fourth Ave. as his address to vote in Chiefland elections, Monyei said. Hunter is a former City Commission member.

Eighth Judicial Circuit State Attorney Bill Cervone said on Nov. 19 his office continues to work on the alleged voter fraud cases. The Eighth Judicial Circuit includes Levy, Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Gilchrist and Union counties.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigated the cases and gave information to Cervone, about five weeks after the FDLE took the cases.

Cervone was sent the FDLE report by Sept. 27, however he has said there is no statutory requirement for him to decide whether to prosecute within any timeframe.

A person who commits or attempts to commit any fraud in connection with voting, votes a fraudulent ballot, or votes more than once in an election can be convicted of a felony of the third degree and fined up to $5,000 and/or imprisoned for up to 5 years, according to Florida law.