Palm Beach County Republicans receive fraudulent election letters

FBI investigating letters postmarked from Seattle

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. -- There is a new paper trail that could reveal efforts to keep voters from going to the polls this year. Investigators are tracking the case, trying to determine who would send fraudulent election documents to local voters - and why.

"Where'd this come from?," asked Bob Hiering of Delray Beach.

"I was hot under the collar when I got it," he said, looking at a letter that he received in late October. 

The letter was sent to Hiering, a Republican, from what appeared to be the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections office.

The letter reads, in part: "The Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections has received information from the Florida Division of Elections bringing into question your eligibility as a registered voter".  But neither Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher nor her staff sent the letters.  They had been postmarked from Seattle, Washington.

The letters ended up in mailboxes - of mostly Republicans - in multiple counties in Florida.  Palm Beach Town Council President David Rosow was a recipient and says the message had a motive  "This is an attempt to suppress Republican votes," he said.  Rosow and a handful of others - though suspicious of the message -  fulfilled its orders to provide personal information to the elections office or be disqualified from voting.

 "I brought my passport," said Rosow.  "I brought my driver's license. I brought my voter's registration card. I brought everything I could think of."

When Rosow, Hiering and others contacted her office, Bucher says she realized someone was impersonating members of her staff.  She alerted the authorities.

On Thursday, Hiering was interviewed by the Federal Bureao of Investigation (FBI).  Last week, he was questioned by investigators with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.  The state and federal investigation continues to see if these letters - sent from the other side of the country - were intended to keep people from casting votes in Florida.

There is still no definitive answer as to exactly who may have sent the letters or how many may have been sent to Florida.  The FBI says voters who received such a letter should contact their supervisor of elections and then keep the letter for the investigators.

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