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4th resident of The Villages charged with voter fraud

Charles Barnes, 64, was arrested Tuesday and charged with voter fraud for casting more than one ballot, according to an arrest affidavit filed in court.
People sit in an outdoor dining area of a restaurant in the Lake Sumter Landing Market Square, Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021, in The Villages, Fla.
People sit in an outdoor dining area of a restaurant in the Lake Sumter Landing Market Square, Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021, in The Villages, Fla. [ PHELAN M. EBENHACK | AP ]
Published Jan. 6

THE VILLAGES — A fourth resident of a massive Florida retirement community has been arrested on a charge of voter fraud.

Charles Barnes, 64, was arrested Tuesday and charged with voter fraud for casting more than one ballot, according to an arrest affidavit filed in court.

The arrest affidavit doesn’t detail the basis for the charge. Barnes entered a not guilty plea on Thursday.

His attorney, Victor Mead, didn’t immediately return an email inquiry.

Related: 3 voters from The Villages charged with voting fraud

Online voting records showed Barnes wasn’t affiliated with any political party and that he first registered to vote in Sumter County in 2019.

Barnes’ arrest was the fourth for voter fraud in the past two months of residents of The Villages retirement community in a county that is a Republican stronghold in Florida. Of the three other residents, two were registered Republicans and the third had no party affiliation.

The arrests come after Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis pledged to create a law enforcement agency to investigate election crimes, despite there being little evidence of electoral malfeasance by voters in the Sunshine State.

Related: DeSantis’ new election crimes office: 52 positions and ‘unprecedented’ authority
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