© 2024 90.7 WMFE. All Rights Reserved.
Public Media News for Central Florida
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Lake County's Republican supervisor of elections has strong words for members of his party spreading unfounded voter fraud claims


Republican Supervisor of Elections Alan Hays has strong words for people in his own party pushing election fraud conspiracies in Lake County.

[caption id="attachment_192136" align="alignleft" width="294"]

Alan Hays.[/caption]

He spoke with WMFE's Joe Byrnes about a rebuttal posted on his website. Here are excerpts from that conversation.

WMFE: What's the message in the letter you posted on lakevotes.gov on Tuesday?

HAYS: The message is our office is dedicated to election integrity and election security, 100% dedicated to those two objectives, and if anyone has any evidence of misconduct relative to the elections in Lake County, Florida, please bring us that evidence. But if you don't have evidence, for goodness sakes, shut up and quit talking about the corruption that ain't here. ...

I'm serious, Joe. The American people do not deserve to have their confidence in their election system eroded by a bunch of people telling lies.

WMFE: It sounds like, from the way you're talking, you're personally and professionally insulted by this.

HAYS: You're exactly right. It is highly insulting. And I've been in the public arena for 17 years now as an elected official, and I don't really care. I've had all kinds of things said about me and written about me, and that's okay.

But as the head coach of a team of champions, I will never ever sit quietly by and allow anybody to impune the reputation and the integrity and the professionalism of my group of workers. And it's not just the people who work with me every day in this office. It's the wonderful men and women who staff our polling places in the precincts and the early voting sites. ...

And it came to my attention just before nine o'clock on Monday morning of this week, that the chairman of the local Republican executive committee here in Lake County had said over the weekend, that there were people voting in Lake County in 2020 who were deceased, that there was someone voting twice at two different precincts, and there were people who voted in person and by mail and their votes were counted. And I called the chairman of the party and I said to him, let me tell you something, lad, you have until five o'clock this afternoon, meaning Monday afternoon, to get me the names, and if you don't have the names, I'm coming after you.

And so when five o'clock came and went, I didn't have the names. I didn't have the names when I arrived yesterday morning at work and checked my email. And so I put out that letter, because I'm not going to let anybody lie about the elections in Lake County, Florida, without calling them out on it. ...

You know what, Joe? The reason that I'm so fired up about this is because it's disgraceful that the American voters are being abused this way. It's like a bunch of high school, or grade school bullies out on a playground. And until somebody gets in their face and holds them accountable and demands evidence, they will continue to bully people.

And the American voters do not deserve to be bullied and I'm not going to do it. I'll be the guy on the playground who comes up and pops you right in the face, to you the bully, and say listen, 'You either put up or shut up.' And that's where I am.

That was Alan Hays speaking with WMFE's Joe Byrnes. Lake County Republican Party Chairman Walter Price did not respond to requests for comment.

Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.