Homecoming hack: Assistant principal, daughter charged with using computer account to steal homecoming queen vote

Northwest Florida

PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — The Florida Department of Law Enforcement arrested a mother and daughter for illegal access to hundreds of students accounts. FDLE says the access was used to rig the homecoming queen vote at Tate High School in Pensacola.

Laura Rose Carroll, 50, and her daughter, 17, are charged with offense against users of computers, computer systems, computer networks, and electronic devices, unlawful use of a two-way communication device, criminal use of personally identified information, and conspiracy to commit these offenses. Laura Rose Carroll is also an assistant principal at Belleview Elementary in Pensacola.

FDLE stated the investigation began in November 2020. The investigation concluded Carroll and her daughter, a student of Tate High School, accessed students’ FOCUS accounts. Carroll also had access to the school board’s FOCUS program. WKRG News 5 is not identifying the daughter because she is a minor.

In October 2020, hundreds of votes for Tate High School’s Homecoming Court were tagged as fraudulent, with 117 votes originated from the same IP address linked to Carroll’s phone. Multiple students reported that the daughter described using her mother’s FOCUS account to cast votes. The daughter was crowned homecoming queen video and pictures online show.

FDLE says the investigation also found Carroll FOCUS account from August of 2019 had access to 372 high school records and 339 of them were students from Tate High School.

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