The Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Election Crime Unit announced it has arrested Cheryl Ann Leslie, 55, for casting her vote in more than one state in previous elections, including 2020.
FDLE says the two counts she was arrested on of casting more than one ballot are both third-degree felonies. The Secretary of State’s Office of Election Crimes and Security assisted in investigating Leslie.
Authorities said Leslie is a physician assistant and voted in both the 2020 federal and primary elections in Florida in Alaska. For Alaska, they say she submitted an absentee ballot, and for Florida, in Palm Beach County by voting early in-person.
Leslie reportedly said her work requires “extensive travel between states.”
The information on Leslie’s activity was forwarded to the Election Crime Unit for further investigation. The woman was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail.
“The Florida Department of State, Office of Election Crimes and Security is grateful for our partnership with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement,” said Secretary of State and Chief Election Officer Cord Byrd. “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.”
Gov. Ron DeSantis has made election security integral to his administration. He signed legislation in April to establish the Office of Election Crimes and Security within the Department of State. The office is in charge of reviewing reports of alleged election law violations and investigate any violations. The office oversees the department’s voter fraud hotline.
As November’s election nears, Byrd has also made clear a commitment to election integrity. Late October, his office announced he visited all of Florida’s 67 Supervisors of Elections to ensure the “highest standards of election integrity.”
“Our state is committed to the highest standards of election integrity which is why I am proud to have completed visits with all 67 Supervisors of Elections,” said Byrd. “I was able to see firsthand their operations and the security measures they employ to safeguard the election in accordance with state law. The Supervisors are ready for this election, and now is the time for you to be election ready and go vote.”
In August, DeSantis announced his election crimes unit announced multiple arrests for voter fraud.
“And so they did not go through any process. They did not get their rights restored and yet they went ahead and voted anyways,” DeSantis said. “That is against the law and now they’re going to pay the price for it.”
He praised the new Election Crimes and Security Office that investigates voter fraud and violations of election law. The new office received funding July 1 to operate.
“I also want to be very clear going forward that we’re going to continue to make sure that our laws are rigorously enforced,” DeSantis said.
Attorney General Ashley Moody applauded the state for enforcing its election laws.
“In order for us to remain a country and a state under the rule of law, we must have men and women that are willing to enforce those laws,” Moody said.
Moody called it heartbreaking that polls show 20% of Americans have faith in their elections.
“That skepticism spans party lines and we cannot accept that,” Moody said.