State Attorney’s Office Investigation into Voter Registration Fraud

An investigation by the State Attorney’s Office, 20th Judicial Circuit, related to the activities of individuals employed by a third-party voter registration organization, has resulted in
multiple arrests and a prison sentence this week for one of those involved.

The organization called “Hard Knocks” is a company that claims to mobilize voters to get people to register to vote. Several employees submitted voter registrations that drew the attention of the Lee and Charlotte County Supervisors of Elections.

The State Attorney’s Office investigation determined fraudulent voter registration applications were submitted.

Four people have been arrested as a result of this investigation. Eugene Florence, formerly of Fort Myers, who was employed by the organization in 2021, knowingly submitted voter registrations of individuals who did not swear to the oath or contents. He was sentenced this week to 16 months in prison which will be served concurrent to a five-year prison sentence he is serving on unrelated cases.

Two other defendants have cases pending and a third defendant is currently in a diversion program due to not having any prior criminal history. That defendant was also ordered to pay court costs and testify truthfully in any case that may require such testimony.

Assistant State Attorney J.D. Miller, State Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit (ECU) Chief, and ECU Assistant State Attorney Connor Boe prosecuted the Florence case.

Samantha Syoen – Communications Director, State Attorney’s Office