By Steven Kovac
The names of thousands of voters disappeared from the voter rolls in a Florida county shortly before the 2022 midterm election only to reappear in the following weeks, according to an analysis of official voter rolls conducted by a Republican watchdog group.
The vanishing act is among a number of peculiar changes to the voter rolls unearthed by Kris Jurski—vice-president for election integrity with the non-profit organization the Florida Republican Assembly (FRA) and founder of the Florida Peoples Audit.
In Broward County, during June and July of 2022, 1,600 registered voters had their addresses changed to a different town and zip code. Then, just in time for the Aug. 2022 primary, the addresses were corrected and restored on the roll, according to the Jurski study.
Mail-in ballots were sent out in mid-July.
Broward County Elections Supervisor Joe Scott did not respond by press time to an email from The Epoch Times requesting an explanation.
Election watchdogs have a term for what happened in Broward County—address flipping. One instance of address flipping was first uncovered by Jurksi’s group in 2022 when nearly 40 registrants of a Florida town had their street addresses broken without their knowledge. The new addresses were on a street that never existed in their town.
The anomaly, known as the “Red Belly Road” incident, occurred before the Aug. 2022 primary and was never explained by election officials.
Mr. Jurski told The Epoch Times: “In Sept. of 2022, I put all of Florida’s Supervisors of Elections on notice that we would be carefully monitoring the voter registration rolls for address flips.
“The practice of address flipping stopped. They did not do it in the Nov. 2022 general election.”
By electronically matching voter ID numbers with vote-by-mail requests, Mr. Jurski found the names of many people across the state who voted by mail in the Nov. 8, 2022, election that were deleted from the voter registration rolls just before and immediately after the election.
“We were shocked at the number of voter deletions across Florida. We discovered that more than 430,000 voters were removed from the state voter roll in November and December 2022.
“Why so many during and immediately after the election?” he asked.
In particular, Mr. Jurski is questioning why the registrations of 4,776 people listed in state records as having voted by mail were deleted from the state voter roll in October 2022. There were 4,496 such deletions in November, 3,574 in December, and another 4,435 were deleted in January 2023 for a total of 17,461 to that point.
According to Mr. Jurski, these names were on the rolls for varying amounts of time with the vast majority on the rolls for more than one month.
Mr. Jurski is an Air Force veteran, businessman, systems security specialist, and tech expert. He called his findings “shocking.” He characterizes his team’s discoveries as “accurate and indisputable” because they are based on the state’s own data.
Mr. Jurski told The Epoch Times, “We found voters who have been previously designated on the rolls as ‘Inactive,’ and known to have moved out-of-state, suddenly marked as ‘Active’ on the rolls of another Florida County.
“This is not just somebody moving around a lot. In some cases, the same person was assigned a new last name, new birth date, new activity status, and new political party affiliation.
“We know it is the same voter because of the unique voter identification number given to the person at the time of registration. In Florida, voter ID numbers are incremented, serialized. No previously assigned number should ever be given to a new voter.”
Maintaining accurate voter registration rolls in the digital age is a fluid process. Registrants die, move within their state, move out of state, marry, divorce, and sometimes change party affiliation. To help manage the ever-changing rolls, election clerks have embraced software. Watchdog groups have followed suit, developing algorithms capable of sorting through millions of names in search of irregularities.
Mr. Jurski said his group reviews Florida’s 15 million-name state voter roll on a monthly basis. The computer-assisted analysis compares voter rolls from subsequent months to assess the changes and spot anomalies.
“We could see voters who are clearly listed in state records as having voted by mail being deleted from the roll. Statewide, there were 1,407 such names that were brought into the system for a month and then they quickly disappeared right after the election. To date, these names have not been reinserted into the rolls. They are gone.
“The names of these people did not appear on Florida voter rolls during the months leading up to the Nov. 8, 2022, election (between April 2022 and Oct. 2022). They got inserted into the rolls just in time to vote,” Mr. Jurski said.
Florida does not have same-day voter registration. To be eligible to vote, a person must be registered 30 days prior to election day.
Not Necessarily Voter Fraud
Though they are not alleging voter fraud, Mr. Jurski and his team view the huge number of changes to the state voter rolls and their timing as “a big concern.”
“We readily acknowledge that odd-looking changes in and of themselves don’t necessarily mean fraud. Bad changes could be due to incompetence. In any case, to improve voter confidence in the registration process, these changes must be explained.
“If there is a practical explanation for the number and timing of all the changes we discovered, we want to hear it. But how can that happen, how can we get answers, if the people responsible ignore our requests for explanation?
“The state Elections Division won’t talk to us,” he said.
The Epoch Times reached out to the Director of the Florida Division of Elections, Maria Matthews, asking why the thousands of changes were made to the state voter roll before and after the 2022 elections and who is making the changes.
Ms. Matthews has not responded as of press time.
In Palm Beach County alone, during Nov. 2022, more than 60,000 voters were removed from the rolls.
“What’s strange,” said Mr. Jurski,” is that the very next month, December 2022, 57,000 voters were added back to the roll.”
Of the 57,000, further analysis indicated that 53,000 names were removed from the Palm Beach County voter registration rolls just for the one month surrounding the election.
The Epoch Times contacted Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Wendy Sartory Link for an explanation.
In a phone interview, Ms. Link did not dispute the numbers displayed in the table above. She attributed the unusually large number of changes to an error by an election administration management company that services most county election supervisor offices in Florida.
Mistake Corrected by Palm Beach County
“Three to four thousand registrations should have been removed. We caught the error, and the rest of the registrations were restored,” said Ms. Link.
An IT expert from Ms. Link’s office, Kate Bigsby, said during a three-way phone conversation, “When the election is over many voters get moved from inactive to ineligible. It was done by a VR Systems program that inadvertently put in the wrong data. We worked with the vendor to correct it.”
Ms. Link said an investigation by her office revealed that the time frame of the data collection by Mr. Jurski did not synchronize perfectly with the time frame used by her office and caused some initial confusion.
She emphasized that nothing was done to the rolls until weeks after the election.
Election officials are barred by Florida law from performing list maintenance during the 90 days before an election, according to Ms. Bigsby.
Ms. Bigsby told The Epoch Times, “We did nothing in November. For two or three days in December 2022, somewhere around the fifteenth, we did list maintenance in which registrants were moved from inactive to ineligible.”
Mr. Jurski told The Epoch Times, “My latest research makes me think that most of the problems with Florida’s election administration are resulting from systemic security weaknesses rather than from bad actors. Good people are working hard under unnecessarily complicated policies, and some have said they are so concerned with being accused of voter suppression that they are letting some things slide.
“Mistakes reveal vulnerabilities. There are big, gaping, holes in our election security system that must be fixed. I saw some broken windows that need to be repaired and have been asking by whom, how, and why they were broken.
“Somebody recently told me, ‘Maladministration is not fraud.’ But to me, both are absolutely unacceptable,” said Mr. Jurski.