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Florida governor stalled while voting early, discovers someone changed his information

Frank Gluck
Fort Myers News-Press

A 20-year-old Collier County man is accused of changing Gov. Ron DeSantis' address in the state's voter database, briefly stalling him while he was attempting to vote at the Leon County Courthouse in Tallahassee.

Agents said that Anthony Steven Guevara also accessed the voter registrations for U.S. Sen. Rick Scott and sports celebrities Michael Jordan and LeBron James but made no changes.

These were not sophisticated hacks, said Mark Earley, the Leon County Supervisor of Elections. Rather, Guevara is accused of accessing a low-security elections portal with the inability to make significant changes, such as those related to one's registration status, he said.

Higher security portals require harder-to-get information, such as Social Security and driver's license numbers.

DeSantis updated his address on the spot and was allowed to vote.

Anthony Steven Guevara

"I think there was a minimal amount of inconvenience," Earley said. "Certainly there was concern."

Address changes are commonly made at polling stations, particularly those involving students who move frequently, Earley said. So DeSantis did not receive any special treatment, he said. Nor should voters worry that their ability to vote might be hampered by someone simply changing their address of record in this fashion, he added.

Such address hiccups happen "hundreds of times a week," Earley said.

"We do have people who show up to vote and they've forgotten that they made an address change or they forgot to do an address change or they know they have to do an address change, and they do it there on the spot," he said. "It just takes ... 30 seconds to get it to happen. And then they're issued a ballot and vote in a normal manner."

Police arrested Guevara on Tuesday, a day after the governor voted.

According to investigators, Guevara logged onto the Florida Department of State website, entered the governor’s date of birth (obtained through a Wikipedia search) and changed his address to a home in West Palm Beach, apparently that of a YouTube personality.

Records show that Guevara is a registered Republican.

The West Palm Beach address, 2185 Pretty Lane #3, is the address of Nicholas Perry, 28, according to voter registration data. Perry has no political party affiliation, voting records show. That address and Perry's name are listed on the business registration for Nikocado Avocado LLC. 

The YouTube channel “Nikocado Avocado” shows 2.18 million subscribers. 

Attempts to reach Perry by phone and through email addresses linked to him were unsuccessful on Wednesday.

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Investigators say that a Naples man who changed the address of Florida Gov. Rick DeSantis in the state voter database also had information on U.S. Sen Rick Scott, a Naples resident, as well as sports starts LeBron James and Michael Jordan. DeSantis is shown in this Oct. 16, 2020, file photo.

DeSantis contacted the Florida Department of Law Enforcement immediately after learning of the address change, investigators said. 

Law enforcement tracked down Guevara’s address by obtaining the IP address of the computer that sent the request and, via a subpoena to provider Comcast, discovered Guevara’s address, according to the arrest report.

An FDLE digital forensic examiner later examined Guevara’s laptop and found Google searches for “Florida my vote” and “Florida governor,” investigators said. The computer also had accessed the website dos.myflorida.com and DeSantis’ Wikipedia page.

Investigators say that a Naples man who changed the address of Florida Gov. Rick DeSantis in the state voter database also had information on U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, a Naples resident, as well as sports stars LeBron James and Michael Jordan.

Guevara was charged with unauthorized access of a computer and altering a voter registration without consent, both felonies. He was in the Collier County Jail on Wednesday morning on a $5,000 bond.

“I am proud of the quick and detailed work of our agents on this case and appreciate the hard work of the offices of State Attorneys Amira Fox and Jack Campbell,” FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen said in a news release. “FDLE is committed to ensuring the voting rights of Florida citizens are protected, and we will continue to work with our local, state and federal partners in ensuring the security of our elections.”

This is a developing story. It will be updated with information as it becomes available.

Frank Gluck is a watchdog reporter with The News-Press and the Naples Daily News. Connect with him at fgluck@news-press.com or on Twitter: @FrankGluck