Dead Lives Matter: Sheriff’s election may be overturned

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In a 29-page joint pretrial stipulation obtained by Historic City News from the Circuit Court for the Seventh Judicial Circuit, local voters get a glimpse of the degree of corruption involved in electing a sheriff in neighboring Putnam County.

A lawsuit is heading to jury trial challenging the Putnam County Canvassing Board’s November 2016 certification that Homer D “Gator” DeLoach III was properly elected to serve as Putnam County Sheriff.

There are still facts to be determined by a jury, but the number of items both sides agree on, and can therefore stipulate to, is considerable.  The lawsuit was brought by Republican candidate Jonathan Kinney who seeks a judgment declaring the certification of Democrat candidate DeLoach’s election invalid, declaring void the election of Defendant DeLoach; entering a judgment of ouster against Defendant DeLoach, and declaring that Plaintiff Kinney has established his right to the office of Putnam County Sheriff.

In what amounts to “stuffing the ballot box”, alleged to be common in St Johns, Putnam, and surrounding counties through the 1960’s, the plaintiff, Jonathan Kinney, has gathered evidence that vote-by-mail ballots were counted in November from voters who were no longer alive, convicted felons, mentally incompetent, or others who voted after the statutory deadline, or who were not residents of Putnam County.


Tabulated in the stipulation were:

  1. Nineteen vote-by-mail ballots cast by convicted felons who have not had their civil rights restored (identified by Plaintiff)
  1. Thirteen additional ballots cast by convicted felons who have not had their civil rights restored (identified by Florida Department of State, Division of Elections, and processed for removal by Defendant Overturf)
  1. Three vote-by-mail ballots cast in the name of deceased voters
  1. Two vote-by-mail ballots counted despite having been received by the Supervisor of Elections after the statutory deadline
  1. Three vote-by-mail ballots cast by individuals who were not residents of Putnam County
  1. One vote-by-mail ballot cast by an individual who cast a ballot in both Putnam County and also in the State of New Jersey in the November 2016 General Election
  1. One ballot cast by an individual adjudicated mentally incompetent with respect to voting and who has not had the right to vote restored pursuant to law (identified by Florida Department of State, Division of Elections, and processed for removal by Defendant Overturf)

It was stated in the complaint that the evidence of illegal votes received in the November 2016 General Election “far exceeds the certified margin of victory” which was only 16-votes. Kinney contends that this documentation is “sufficient to change or place in doubt” the result of that election for Putnam County Sheriff.

As this case moves to trial, Historic City News will continue to report as we learn more details and the outcome of the litigation.

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