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Cervone won't prosecute voter fraud

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By Jeff M. Hardison

GAINESVILLE - Eighth Judicial Circuit State Attorney Bill Cervone told Gary J. Holland, the assistant general counsel of the Florida Department of State, that he is not prosecuting any of the 11 Chiefland area people accused of voter fraud.

On Sept. 27, 2007, Holland sent allegations that 11 people voted improperly in the Aug. 7 Chiefland city election, because they were not residents of the city.

Cervone said he believes the definition of "residency" for voting purposes is subjective.

"There is no clear or consistent definition in statute, case law or rule that I can locate that would provide an easy legal answer to the question of exactly what constitutes a legal residence for voting purposes," Cervone wrote. "While one might assume that the nature of residency for voting purposes was easily determined, this lack of any clear legal definition makes the opposite the case."

Cervone said this investigation must be resolved with "virtually no legal guidance" upon which he can conclusively rely.

He also noted that any violation of voting law must be done "knowing, willful, or both."


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