Bay supervisor warns against registering to vote out of state

Local News

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Voter fraud remains on the minds of many Americans in the weeks after the presidential election.

And in the run-up to a hotly contested senate race in Georgia a local attorney made national headlines when he apparently tried to change his voter registration to that state.

Bay County Supervisor of Elections Mark Anderson said every election brings a small number of voter issues. Though in Bay County there is little, if any, outright fraud.

In some cases, the office is confronted with elderly residents who don’t remember whether or not they voted by mail.

“We did deal with time to time people that you know sent their vote by mail ballot in and maybe don’t remember that they did and they got on the phone and they would say, ‘Well I know did or didn’t,'” Anderson recalled. “And then we go do our research and find out and then, ‘Oh yeah, I guess I did and they move forward.”

When he took over two decades ago, Anderson said he made sure voters in municipal elections voted in the towns where they lived.

“It’s not different than being in one municipality and having an election locally and saying, ‘OK, you’re not in the city limits but you own a business somewhere else.’ Well, guess what, if you don’t live in the city you can’t vote there” Anderson said. “The same thing goes for what is going on in Georgia. If you don’t live in Georgia you better not be voting in Georgia.”

Those who try to test the system may find themselves in real trouble with authorities.

“They’re watching everything very closely, obviously. Everybody has got their radar up on that,” Anderson said.

Ultimately, voters need to use common sense and respect the rules.

“The simple fact is if you don’t live there you can’t vote there,” Anderson said. “You don’t move for a week and then come back or vice versus. That’s not a residence and democracy wasn’t set up that way.”

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