- The charges against Marsha Ervin have been officially dropped.
- Ervin had faced charges related to the 2020 General Election and the 2022 Primary Election.
- Read the state's reasoning for the decision and the NAACP's reaction to the change in a news release below.
While there was sufficient probable cause for arrest, subsequent information has compromised the State’s ability to proceed further. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement did an exhaustive investigation into this case. However, since the arrest was made, the undersigned has spoken to two key witnesses.
The first is the defendant’s probation officer. She provided the State two forms that review the conditions of probation with the Defendant. One was signed on October 26, 2022, and explicitly explains that that the offender could not legally vote while on probation. The other was signed on November 28, 2018, and does not show this language.
The voting incidents were between these two dates and there is no indication that she has voted since being provided this information. More problematically, the undersigned has spoken to Leon County Supervisor of Elections Mark Earley. Mr. Earley indicated that upon his review of the submitted registration forms, he believes that this was an innocent mistake.
Apparently, there is a group that sends persons like Ms Ervin forms indicating how that can re-register to vote. These forms appearance is such that many would believe them to be coming from the Supervisor of Elections Office. The Defendant’s application seems to be one of these forms.
Hence, the evidence is there is no witness who can testify to the defendant being told that she was ineligible to vote and some evidence to corroborate her assertions that she believed she could lawfully vote. This office cannot proceed with a fraud prosecution with such a lack of evidence to establish intent.
In a groundbreaking turn of events, the Executive Committee of the Tallahassee Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) announces the successful resolution of the charges against Marsha Ervin, a resident of Tallahassee, Florida, accused of felony voter fraud.
Marsha Ervin, a 69-year-old resident, had faced charges related to the 2020 General Election and the 2022 Primary Election, including one count of submitting false voter registration information and two counts of voting as an ineligible elector, all classified as third-degree felonies. These charges were rooted in alleged false claims of voting eligibility while on probation as a convicted felon in Florida.
The NAACP's Executive Committee had previously condemned these charges, demanding the immediate dropping of charges against Ms. Ervin. The Committee recognized the complexity of her case and the lack of clear information regarding her voting rights after her release from prison. It emphasized the need for clear guidance to individuals with prior felony convictions regarding their voting rights upon reintegration into society.
We are pleased to announce that the charges against Marsha Ervin have been officially dropped. This development marks a significant step toward achieving justice and clarity in voter eligibility laws. In response to this situation, the NAACP called on the Florida Department of State's Division of Elections to establish a new checkbox for felons seeking voter registration, enabling additional verification of eligibility without the risk of arrest in case of errors.
This supplementary review process aims to prevent unintentional violations of voting regulations and ensure that eligible individuals have the opportunity to exercise their fundamental right to vote. The successful outcome of this case reflects the commitment of the NAACP and its partners to advocate for justice, civil rights, and the elimination of racial discrimination.
The NAACP extends its gratitude to all those who supported this important cause, including the Tallahassee Branch of the NAACP, the Akbar Thomas Law Firm, Ben Crump Law, Brad Ashwell and All Voting is Local, the Rev. R.B. Holmes and the National Action Network, Leon County Commissioner Bill Proctor, the Democratic Club of North Florida, the Leon County Democratic Executive Committee, participating elected officials, and all supporters of the Change.org petition for Ms. Ervin.