In 2012, Lauderdale Lakes City Commissioner Eric Haynes used a fake address when he voted. This is a big no-no for elected officials, and as a result, the Broward Office of Inspector General filed a report to the Florida Elections Commission that proved Haynes used the address of a house he sold in August 2012 when casting a vote in November 2012.
On Monday, the OIG announced that the FEC has fined Haynes for election laws violations, saying that Haynes "willfully violated" the law by "false swearing in connection with voting or elections." According to the report, Haynes has been fined $500, though he was initially looking at up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
The OIG received information of Haynes' possibly using a fraudulent address when it was discovered that he had not been living at 4701 NW 41st Court, Lauderdale Lakes, since September 2012. Turns out, Haynes wasn't even living in the same precinct. But Haynes wrote the address down on his ballot, even though he also signed a voting certificate that warns of doing such a thing is tantamount to committing fraud in connection with voting.
But the report says that, while the Lauderdale Lakes City Commission voted to not remove Haynes from his position for no longer living in the precinct, the investigation found that he had engaged in misconduct in connection with his voting in the November 2012 general election by "falsely swearing or affirming to residing at an address within the City."
In November 2014, the FEC issued an order of probable cause and held a hearing this past May where it was determined that Haynes willfully committed an election violation.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
At the time of the investigation, Haynes said his mistake was a simple oversight and mixup.
"It's the same ballot on both sides of the street," Haynes said via the Sun Sentinel. "The ballots are exactly identical… It wasn't like I was voting in one race and there was a whole slate of candidates in another race."
Haynes has 30 days to appeal the fine.