MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – In an exclusive interview with Local 10 News Tuesday, Florida Secretary of State Cord Byrd addressed the arrests of 20 people on voter fraud charges this summer, as new police body camera video shows confusion and bewilderment among some of those arrested.
The videos were first obtained by the Tampa Bay Times.
The 20 ex-felons were mistakenly urged to register to vote.
“Why are y’all doing this now?” one suspect asks in the FDLE body camera footage. “This happened years ago.”
Local 10 News caught up with Byrd at Miami International Airport, as he crisscrossed counties for last minute checks ahead of the Nov. 8 election.
He’s visited 59 of 67 counties, with his most recent stop being Monroe County.
Byrd responded to those arrests, saying the suspects broke the law.
“On the voter registration card, the person swears that the information they’re providing is the truth,” Byrd said. “So I understand that they’re saying they didn’t have intent, but I think when all of the cases are adjudicated that that may not bear out exactly.”
Meanwhile, Byrd recently visited counties in southwest Florida affected by Hurricane Ian, three of which saw a change in voting procedures in order to accommodate voters impacted by the storm.
“(There are) no changes to any of the other counties other than the three in southwest Florida that specifically asked for and put in writing to the Division of Elections,” he said.
Byrd said he believes all systems are a go for smooth elections this year.
“We count our votes early and get them on election night, so the voters have confidence,” he said. “So I can never say never on a recount, but that’s up for the candidates to make sure they win big if they’re gonna win.”
As of 11 a.m. Tuesday, 733,000 Floridians had already cast their ballots by mail.