A Florida woman was arrested Friday after being charged with felony voter fraud for allegedly voting in two states during the same election cycle.
Cheryl Ann Leslie, 55, of Loxahatchee, Florida, was charged with two counts of felony fraud, according to Palm Beach County jail records.
Leslie, who is registered as a Democrat, voted in both the 2020 federal and state primary elections in Florida and Alaska, according to a Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) news release. Leslie’s Alaska votes were submitted by absentee ballot, and her Florida votes were submitted early and in person in Palm Beach County, officials said.
Leslie, who works with a senior care facility in Loxahatchee, told investigators that her work as a physician assistant required extensive travel between multiple states.
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The voting irregularity was originally noticed by Florida Secretary of State’s Office of Election Crimes and Security, which then shared the information with FDLE’s Election Crime Unit, officials said. Investigators said they found a pattern of double voting as Leslie also voted in both states in 2014, 2016 and 2018.
“The Florida Department of State, Office of Election Crimes and Security is grateful for our partnership with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement,” Secretary of State and Chief Election Officer Cord Byrd said in a statement. “This arrest is yet another confirmation to every eligible Florida voter that the Department of State and FDLE are working together to ensure the integrity of their vote and Florida’s elections process.”
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Leslie was being held on $1,000 bail. Jail records didn’t list an attorney.
Florida’s Office of Election Crimes and Security, a police unit created last year as part of legislation signed by Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, has filed voter fraud charges across the state including charges filed against 20 people this summer who allegedly voted despite having criminal convictions.
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“This is against the law, and now they’re going to pay the price for it,” DeSantis said at the time.
Four people from The Villages retirement community were arrested late last year and early this year on voter fraud charges. Two of them were registered as Republicans while the other two had no party affiliation listed.
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Three of them have since pleaded guilty to casting more than one ballot and been sentenced to diversion programs that would allow them to avoid prison time. The fourth awaits trial.
The Associated Press contributed to this report