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Earley Fighting Trump Commission Backlash

Leon County Supervisor of Elections office.

A relative handful of Leon County voters are canceling their registration and joining a national backlash against a presidential commission on voter fraud. But Elections Supervisor Mark Earley says at least he's changed a few minds.

Few presidents can match Donald Trump’s talent for nurturing conspiracy theories, or his willingness to trumpet baseless claims.  But Leon Elections Supervisor Mark Earley says even a maverick politician can go too far.

Trump’s insistence that massive fraud cost him the popular vote is creating a problem in the real world that has Earley deeply concerned.

“Yes, we are. We’ve received calls from at least 60 voters, asking to be taken off the voter rolls.”

The calls started after a special Trump commission asked the states for detailed voter information. Earley says most callers back down when they learn Florida isn’t releasing Social Security and Driver’s License numbers.

The commission denies being on a witch hunt, but Earley says it’s very existence has already led to 28 fewer Leon County voters. 

“One-hundred-percent unwarranted. It’s doing much more harm than good. There’s supposed to be a study to prevent disenfranchisement. The direct result of this is people are already being disenfranchised.”

The Buzz political blog estimates the number of canceled voter registrations in Florida has risen 117 percent, although the figure is tiny compared to the 12.9 million registered voter total.

A Miami native, former WFSU reporter Jim Ash is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience, most of it in print. He has been a member of the Florida Capital Press Corps since 1992.