Florida man charged with voter fraud blames political rivalry for alleged misconduct

Man Arrested for Voter Fraud in Florida, Alleges Political Motivation

THE VILLAGES, Fla. — A man has been charged with forgery and fraud after allegedly casting a ballot in Florida for his deceased father in the 2020 election. However, the suspect claims that the charges are politically motivated, stemming from a local GOP rivalry between supporters of former President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

According to William Keen, the Sumter County elections supervisor, the ballot in question was not counted because it was postmarked four days after the father’s death in mid-October 2020. A criminal complaint filed by Keen states that an examination of the father’s ballot revealed a signature resembling that of his son, rather than any of the father’s previous ballot signatures.

Robert Rivernider, the accused, was arrested last week and now faces charges of felony forgery of a public record and fraud, as stated in court documents. However, he has since been released from custody.

When reached by telephone, Rivernider asserted his intention to plead not guilty, attributing the charges to a local political rivalry. He, an avid Trump supporter, claims that the charges were orchestrated by local officials who support DeSantis, a candidate for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination. Rivernider pointed out that the charges were filed nearly three years after the election, insinuating a potential ulterior motive. “There is a lot of politics that goes on here in Sumter County and they don’t like the fact that I don’t follow their system,” Rivernider stated.

An attempt to obtain comment from Keen was made via email but remained unanswered at the time of reporting.

Notably, Rivernider resides near The Villages, a sprawling retirement community where at least four residents have faced voter fraud charges since the 2020 election.

Last year, Governor DeSantis and the Republican-dominated Florida Legislature established a law enforcement agency dedicated to investigating election crimes, despite limited evidence of voter misconduct in the Sunshine State. This agency’s initial public actions were the arrests of 20 individuals for illegal voting in 2020. DeSantis maintains that these individuals were ineligible to vote under a 2018 constitutional amendment that restores voting rights to certain felons, as they had been convicted of murder or a felony sexual offense.

It is worth noting that Rivernider, a former resident of Wellington, was convicted ten years ago in federal court in Connecticut for orchestrating a $20 million real estate flipping scheme. He is still making restitution payments to dozens of victims. In Florida, felons must settle all fines, restitution, and legal fees before regaining their right to vote.

In conclusion, the arrest of Robert Rivernider on charges of voter fraud has sparked controversy. Rivernider alleges a political motive behind the charges, highlighting a local rivalry between Trump and DeSantis supporters. As the case unfolds, it will be crucial to determine the veracity of these claims and ensure a fair and impartial legal process.

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