Yes, 3 residents of the Villages retirement community have been charged with electoral fraud


Three residents of a Florida retirement community infamous for a manifestation of racism were arrested on allegations of casting more than one ballot in the 2020 general election, according to arrest records.

Joan Halstead, Jay Ketcik and John Rider, all residents of The Villages community northwest of Orlando, are accused of casting an in-person ballot and mail-in ballot in the presidential election on 3 November 2020, according to documents the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office.

None of the suspects have yet been arrested. The public does not know for which candidate the three votes cast. Florida Secretary of State’s records indicate Halstead and Ketcik are registered Republicans. Rider did not choose party affiliation. The Orlando Sentry reported that the social media accounts appearing to belong to all three contain posts supporting former US President Donald Trump.

The incident garnered a lot of attention on the Internet for two reasons. The first is that Trump, a Republican, campaigned aggressively disinformation campaign on the eve and in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election, making unfounded allegations of massive voter fraud that cost him the election. The lie sparked violence in the form of a deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.

The fact that three alleged Trump supporters were accused of electoral fraud was therefore viewed as ironic by many, a sentiment summed up by this tweet from the government transparency group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW):

The second reason the incident received such scrutiny was where the accused lived.

In the notorious incident, which took place in July 2020, Trump tweeted a video of a golf cart fan and resident of The Villages pumping his fist and chanting “White power!”


Sources:

Anderson, Sam. “When the President shows you an old man screaming ‘white power’. The New York Times, July 15, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/15/magazine/trump-white-power-tweet .html.

Cordeiro, Joe Mario Pedersen, Monivette. “3 residents of villages arrested after having cast several votes in the 2020 elections.” Orlandosentinel.com, December 14, 2021, https://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/breaking-news/os-ne-the-villages- arrested-casting-multiple-votes-2020-election-20211214-ee3t4xa7qzbqtmt2xf563km644-story .html.



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