Two in Lake City charged with election fraud


Published: Tuesday, April 9, 2013 at 6:35 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, April 9, 2013 at 6:35 p.m.

Two Lake City residents surrendered to authorities Tuesday on charges of election fraud stemming from allegations involving the District 10 Lake City City Council election.

Betty Jefferson, 64, of Lake City, faces 24 felony and two misdemeanor violations of state election laws, while Linda Ivery, 56, of Lake City, is charged with six felony and two misdemeanor counts of election law violations, according to authorities.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted an investigation into the allegations.

Both Jefferson and Ivery turned themselves into the Columbia County Jail Tuesday and were released on their own recognizance.

The allegations stem from the election of Eugene Jefferson to the District 10 city council seat. Betty Jefferson, wife of Eugene Jefferson, and Ivery are accused of asking voters to sign absentee ballots that were already completed, fraudulently obtaining absentee ballots, and attempting to influence or deceive persons into signing absentee ballots.

The investigation began following complaints to the Florida Department of State, Division of Elections and the FBI. State Attorney for the Eighth Judicial Circuit William Cervone will prosecute the case.

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