For those who don't follow Florida politics, Kevin McCarty and his wife Mary became an infamous power couple in the state in recent years, after both were given prison sentences for public corruption.
The Sun-Sentinel explains that Mary, 56, was the Palm Beach County Commissioner with a "house near the beach and an ocean-view office," before being forced to serve 20 months in a Texas prison for misuse of office. Using her position to boost the business of her husband's bond underwriting firm -- the profits of which amounted to about $272,000 -- she and her husband were forced to return the money, serve a prison sentence, and pay a fine of $105,000. Kevin McCarty was sentenced to 8 months for "misprision of a felony," according to the Sun-Sentinel, or failing to report his wife's crimes.
And now, BIZPAC Review is reporting that Kevin received quite a surprise in his mailbox last week. Though he is still considered a felon and has not yet had his voting rights reinstated, McCarty has reportedly been issued a brand new, personalized voter registration card.
BIZPAC Review explains:
At the center of one of the most widely publicized public corruption cases in Palm Beach County history, Kevin McCarty’s name is one that rarely goes unrecognized these days. And yet it failed to ring a single bell in the Palm Beach County Elections Supervisor’s Office recently, when elections workers sent McCarty a brand-new voter registration card – little more than a year after returning home from prison and despite a felon status that makes him constitutionally ineligible to vote.
This at a time when the state and federal government continue to do battle, suing each other even, over how best to purge local voter rolls of those who have no right to vote. Clearly, it’s an issue Palm Beach County hasn’t figured out yet.
When asked how such a well-known felon could be sent a new voter registration card, Palm Beach County Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher said: “I didn't even know his first name was Lawrence. I don't look up felons in the newspaper. This is another instance of bad voter data by the state."
According to Bucher, her office was not notified by the state of McCarty's felon status, and she has no record of her office sending him a letter.
"He didn't get a letter from us,” she said. “We were never notified about him."
Officials with the Florida Division of Elections did not return repeated calls for comment.
BIZPAC Review concludes:
None of these scenarios inspires confidence in the system, because each points to a critical breakdown in a process designed to make sure people who are ineligible to vote don’t get access to the ballot box. There’s no question, someone screwed up – either the feds, the state or the constitutional officer sworn to protect the integrity of our elections.
And if someone with so prominent a name as Kevin McCarty can get a voter ID card so easily, it’s not hard to imagine there’s a bunch of other felons who mistakenly got the same – and perhaps weren’t so inclined to throw it in the trash.
And this comes as the DOJ is actively trying to stop Florida from purging its voter rolls of non-citizen voters.