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State refers voter fraud complaint to Jacksonville prosecutor

After a three-month review, Gov. Rick Scott's administration has referred an allegation of voter fraud to Jacksonville-area State Attorney Angela Corey for possible criminal prosecution. The complaint alleges that a Jacksonville man, Zakee Fur'qan, voted after his civil rights had been revoked because of a past felony conviction.

Fur'qan, according to the complaint, changed his name from Leon Edward Nelson, who was convicted of second-degree murder in Duval County in 1991 and changed his name nine years later. and the Florida Times-Union reported in April on the name change and that former Mayor Alvin Brown removed Fur'qan's name from a list of campaign supporters after learning about his past identity. Florida's voter registration form asks every applicant to swear that "I am not a convicted felon, or if I am, my right to vote has been restored."

"I'm pleased that the evidence points to taking it to the next level," said the complainant, Mark Glaeser, a self-appointed civic watchdog.

Glaeser said he sent his allegation to Secretary of State Ken Detzner's office on March 27 and received written notification from Detzner's assistant legal counsel, Jordan Jones, about two weeks ago that it had been forwarded to Corey. Among the documents collected by Glaeser was a copy of Fur'qan's voting history indicating that he registered as a Democrat on Sept. 2, 2004 and that he has voted six times since then, even though, Glaeser said, his civil rights had not been restored.

A staffer at the Duval County Supervisor of Elections Mike Hogan's office said Monday that Fur'qan is no longer registered to vote because he's a convicted felon. The office declined to say when his registration ended. Former Duval  Supervisor of Elections Jerry Hollandsaid Monday he did not recall the circumstances of the case.