A Manatee County man is being accused of voter fraud after authorities say he requested a mail-in ballot for his wife, who died two years ago. On Friday, Larry Wiggins spoke exclusively to 8 On Your Side after he was released from Manatee County Jail.
“I heard so much about ballots being sent in and people just having found them in different places,” said Mr. Wiggins. “I feel like I haven’t done anything wrong.”
Now, he’s charged with requesting a vote-by-mail ballot on behalf of another elector, a third-degree felony.
According to the arrest report, election officials received two vote-by-mail ballot request applications from a husband and wife. Election officials confirmed the woman, Ursula Wiggins, had died in 2018.
The 62 year-old said he was just testing Florida’s voting system. “I said well, let me just send it in and see what’s going to happen to see if they’re actually going to send a ballot for her to vote,” said Mr. Wiggins.
They also said the signature on the woman’s application did not match the handwriting on her original voter registration documents.
Mr. Wiggins admits he filled out Ursula’s application and put it in the mail. However, he said he never planned on voting twice and says he didn’t try to duplicate his late wife’s signature.
“I said well, let me just send it in and see what’s going to happen to see if they’re actually going to send a ballot for her to vote,” said Mr. Wiggins.
Manatee County Elections Supervisor Michael Bennett didn’t send a ballot; instead, he sent deputies.
“It really maybe hasn’t set in on me totally,” said Mr. Wiggins, a self-described Democrat who supports President Donald Trump.
“Is he being used as a cautionary tale to warn others?” asked Investigative Reporter Mahsa Saeidi.