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Lake County Election Chief Calls Out Lies from Fellow GOP

The Florida county’s election supervisor, Alan Hays, has claimed that the county’s Republican Party and other groups have perpetuated “outright lies” of voter fraud during the 2020 elections and claims intended to cast doubt on mail voting.

(TNS) — Lake County, Fla.,’s Republican elections chief says he isn’t going to tolerate “outright lies” being spread about voting — even if it costs him politically in a county that solidly supported President Donald Trump.

Elections Supervisor Alan Hays is waging a public battle with the Lake County Republican Party and groups alleging widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

Most recently, Hays has taken issue with an email that landed in the inbox of thousands of Lake County voters casting doubt on the integrity of mail voting. “Did you receive a vote by mail ballot? Whether you requested this ballot or not, this is one of the BIGGEST sources of election fraud,” the email read.

The email is on Lake County GOP letterhead. The message was signed by That group’s website references the “November 2020 election steal.”

Hays said the email is riddled with “outright lies.”

“It is completely absurd,” Hays said Wednesday. “I am embarrassed as a Lake County citizen. I am insulted as the supervisor of elections. I am not going to allow anybody — I don’t care Republican, Democrat or anybody else — nobody is going to get away with telling lies about my office and the people who work there and administer elections.”

Hays represented Lake County in the Florida Legislature as a Republican before winning his present post in 2016.

Trump won 60 percent of the vote in Lake County in 2020. Hays, 76, who is up for reelection in 2024, said he’s not worried about a backlash.

“I am not in this game to be elected,” he said. “I am in this game to administer elections the best way I can.”

In November, Hays posted a rebuttal to claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election, demanding groups challenging the results “PUT UP OR SHUT UP!!” in providing evidence.

“As an election professional, I find it disturbing that some of our citizenry continue to promote a narrative that is unsubstantiated in fact or example,” he wrote.

Other politicians in Central Florida have been less vocal in calling out unproven claims of widespread voter fraud. Twelve of 14 Republicans running for U.S. Congress in Central Florida said they didn’t think President Joe Biden “legitimately” won the election when asked at a candidate forum this past month.

Secretary of State Cord Byrd, Florida’s chief elections officer, refused to say in May that Biden won the election. He said voters should be confident in Florida’s elections but added “irregularities” were found in other states, the News Service of Florida reported.

Hays outlined other inaccuracies in the email during a news conference Tuesday, Aug. 2.

The email instructed voters to not open the envelope of their mail ballot, take it to a voting site and vote in person. If poll workers say a person has already voted, the email instructs voters to call the sheriff’s office. It also tells voters to watch election workers destroy or “spoil” unreturned mail ballots.

Hays said only voters that requested a mail ballot will receive one. It’s possible some voters could have forgotten they have a mail ballot request on file from the 2020 election, he said.

The sheriff’s office doesn’t handle issues with ballots. Instead, voters are given a provisional ballot, and the canvassing board decides whether the vote should count. Election workers collect unreturned ballots instead of destroying them.

Hays demanded an apology from the Lake County Republican Party and He said he also reported the email to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ new Office of Election Crimes and Security.

Sue Parent, president of, defended the email in a statement. The group received 10 reports from voters who received mail ballots but didn’t request one or vote by mail in the 2020 election, the statement reads.

The group also disagrees with Hays on how ballot issues should be handled, writing that they consider it possible identity theft that should be reported to law enforcement.

The Lake County Republican Party sent a disclaimer after its initial email that it didn’t intend to “discourage voters from voting by absentee ballot.” The party’s chairman did not return a message seeking comment Wednesday.

Hays said he’s gotten numerous compliments and no complaints for his stance on the email.

“Today’s American public is absolutely thirsting for people who will speak the truth,” he said.

©2022 Orlando Sentinel. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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