Florida Senator Annette Taddeo on Political Party Affiliation Changes Without Voters’ Knowledge – CBS Miami

MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Some voters in Florida are raising a red flag, saying their political party affiliation was changed without their consent and they want to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Several seniors who say their party affiliation was changed without informed consent spoke at a press conference on Friday alongside Florida State Senator Annette Taddeo.

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Taddeo, a Democrat who announced her candidacy to run against Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis last October, called for an investigation into allegations of voter registration fraud in December 2021 by sending a letter to the District Attorney. State.

On Friday, she stood with four victims, all of whom were elderly people who lived in the same building in Little Havana, and whose party affiliations were changed from Democrat to Republican without informed consent.

“I don’t care what party it is; I don’t care what side you’re on. It’s wrong and it shouldn’t happen,” Taddeo said.

Juan Salazar, a registered Democrat since 1985, was among those who spoke with Taddeo.

The 77-year-old told CBS4 News that he never intended to change his party affiliation, nor did he know that was what he was doing when he was approached by a political canvasser outside his apartment.

“They said they were going to send the new registration card, I said, ‘Do they send it automatically?’ and they said ‘No, you fill out the application, you’ll get it faster,’” Salazar recalled.

Salazar went on to explain that he was told he was signing a form to receive a new voter card, but nothing else. He showed CBS4 News his original voter card and the news he received, which clearly shows the change in party affiliation.

(CBS4)

“My old from 1985, the new one, they changed me to a Republican,” Salazar said.

Taddeo told CBS4 News that she spoke to multiple people in multiple counties, including Miami-Dade and Pinellas, who also reported that their party affiliations were changed without consent.

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The senator also said she spoke to a woman who was hired by Florida First, a 501(c)4 political advocacy organization, who allegedly told Taddeo that he quit after learning what they were asking him to do. .

“What the lady from Hillsborough told me was that they were constantly being encouraged and receiving bonuses for registering Republicans,” Taddeo said.

When asked if she thought it was a concerted effort by the Florida Republican Party, Taddeo said it “appears” to be.

CBS4 News asked if there was any evidence she had come across that indicated the Florida Republican Party was involved. Taddeo shared photos of a canvasser that were taken by one of the individuals whose party affiliation was changed without their knowledge.

Pictured, the Solicitor’s badge identifies him as working on behalf of the Republican Party of Florida. But it has not been confirmed whether the individual actually worked with or for the Florida Republican Party.

In response to the allegations, Florida Republican Party Executive Director Helen Aguirre Ferre said, among other things: “The RPOF is proceeding with his voter registration in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations. Individuals are free to make any decision related to party affiliation – including the choice not to register with a political party.

The statement also includes:

“Our salesman [September Group] also informs us that they are taking additional steps to avoid possible confusion among voters choosing to change their political affiliation. This includes the use of a document with a disclaimer written in English and Spanish which voters complete acknowledging that they are aware that they are changing party affiliation.

Aguirre Ferre’s statement went on to say:

“Election integrity is critically important and continues to be a priority for the Republican Party of Florida in this legislative session.”

State’s Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle released a statement saying in part:

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“We are aware of recent reports regarding voter registration fraud, and have been investigating these allegations for several weeks now, as we take these allegations very seriously.”

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