Golden Gate man arrested for illegally changing Florida governor’s voter information
A 20-year-old Golden Gate man was arrested Tuesday, accused of changing Gov. Ron DeSantis’ address in the voter database.
DeSantis alerted the Florida Department of Law Enforcement after he went to vote Monday afternoon and was told that an unknown person had altered his primary address in the Florida voter database to an address in West Palm Beach.
DeSantis said he didn’t authorize the change and contacted FDLE, which got in touch with Leon County’s Supervisor of Elections Office to request the logs for the date and time in which the suspect IP requested the change of the governor’s information.
The logs showed that the request was made using a computer at a home in Golden Gate. Authorities went to the home on 19th Avenue SW with a search warrant, where the suspect, Anthony Steven Guevara, was present.
An investigator examined Guevara’s computer and found that he had conducted searches of “Florida My Vote” and “Florida Governor.” It was also found that he had accessed the website dos.myflorida.com, as well as the Wikipedia page for DeSantis.
Guevara admitted to investigators that he changed the governor’s address in the database and even showed them how he did it. According to the report, “Guevara stated after accessing the ‘Voter Information Lookup’ section on the ‘dos.myflorida.com’ website, he entered Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ first name, last name, and date of birth.” Guevara said he obtained DeSantis’ birthdate by going to his Wikipedia page.
Guevara said the West Palm Beach address he changed the governors to is that of a YouTube personality.
He also said he accessed voter registration information for Sen. Rick Scott, as well as that of several celebrities, including Michael Jordan and LeBron James. He told investigators he changed only DeSantis’ address in the database.
Guevara faces a property crime charge as well as a charge of altering voter registration without consent.
He was released Wednesday morning from the Collier County Jail on a $5,000 bond. Voter records show Guevara is a registered Republican.
The governor’s office didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment. The changed address didn’t stop DeSantis from voting.
Statement from Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee:
“Our systems are secure. There has been no breach to the Florida Department of State’s systems. The Florida Department of State wants every voter to have confidence in the integrity of our elections network.
“This incident was perpetrated using publicly accessible voter data, and there is no evidence to suggest that this change was made through the Florida Department of State. We commend the Florida Department of Law Enforcement on their swift action to bringing this malicious actor to justice. The situation was corrected immediately and the voter was able to cast a ballot.
“We encourage voters to check their voter registration for accuracy. Every eligible Florida voter will have the ability to cast a ballot and every ballot will be counted. We are working hard to ensure the safety and security of every voter.
“This is an active investigation. If you have any additional questions, please contact the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.”
How could this happen? The governor’s office hasn’t responded to our questions about whether anything will change after this incident.
This wasn’t a hack. Authorities say this person simply went online, did his research and changed the address for the governor.
The secretary of state has recommended everyone check their voter registration. If your address has been changed and you didn’t authorize it, get in touch quickly with your county’s elections office and they can change it back.
Florida has received a record-breaking number of absentee ballots for the 2020 General Election. You can verify your voter registration information and check the status of your ballot to ensure it was received and counted.
Check your registration status:
Click HERE to see ballot status information where you can check to see if it was received and counted.
If you cannot find your information, contact your county Supervisor of Elections or call the Division of Elections’ Voter Assistance Hotline at (866) 308-6739.
If you are hearing or speech impaired, please contact the Division using the Florida Relay Service, (800) 955-8771 (TDD) or (800) 955-8770 (Voice). For more information, visit the Florida Relay Service.