ESCAMBIA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — A Pensacola man has been arrested for illegally voting in the 2020 general election, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Michael Dewayne Collins Jr., 41, was charged with fraud and perjury.
According to court documents, on June 19, 2001, Collins was convicted for Lewd or Lascivious Battery on a victim over 12, but under 16, which is a second-degree felony sexual offence. As a result of the conviction, Collins forfeited his right to vote.
The court documents said Collins registered to vote four separate times and in all four applications chose the option “I affirm that I am not a convicted felon, or if I am, my right to vote has been restored.”
The Escambia County Supervisor of Elections sent a letter addressed to Collins on Dec. 29, 2009, telling Collins he was not eligible to vote due to a felony conviction. On a letter dated Feb. 10, 2022, the Escambia County Supervisor of Elections notified Collins they had no knowledge that his right to vote had been restored.
On May 2, 2022, the Supervisor of Elections sent another letter to Collins saying since they had not received a response from him, his name would be removed from the Florida Voter Registration System.
According to Collins, in 2019, he received a letter from an unknown organization that said he was still eligible to vote. According to FDLE, the letter was not from the State of Florida, but from an unknown organization trying to get people to vote. Collins said he never petitioned the State of Florida to have his rights restored.
The documents said Collins voted in person on Nov. 3, 2020, in Escambia County in the General Election.
Collins was arrested on Nov. 23, 2022, and was released from the Escambia County Jail on Nov. 24, on a $12,500 bond.