FBI: Retiree Said He "Just Wanted To Vote Twice"

Florida Man faces felony over dual 2020 ballots

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Villages Voter

FEBRUARY 3--One of the Florida retirees charged with casting two ballots in the 2020 election told federal agents that he “just wanted to vote twice and wanted to see if he could vote twice,” according to an FBI report.

Charles Barnes, 64, was arrested last month on a felony fraud count for allegedly voting in both Florida and Connecticut. Barnes, seen at right, has pleaded not guilty to the charge and is free on $2000 bond.

Barnes lives with his wife in an 1156-square-foot residence in The Villages, the sprawling Central Florida retirement community. The couple purchased the newly built home for $170,100 in December 2015, according to property records.

Barnes, pictured at right, registered to vote from Florida in 2019 and did not indicate a political party affiliation. The Connecticut native, records show, was simultaneously registered to vote in Milford, a city 10 miles from New Haven. Barnes and his wife have owned a small home in Milford for more than 30 years.

According to investigative records, Barnes requested a Connecticut absentee ballot on September 15, 2020, citing COVID-19 as the reason for not voting in person. Barnes subsequently returned his ballot by mail, making sure to sign and date the inner envelope containing the ballot.

Three weeks after voting by mail in Connecticut, Barnes cast a vote in person on October 28 at a recreation center in The Villages.  

The investigation into Barnes began late last year when Connecticut officials became aware of the multiple ballots. The ensuing probe included a November 2021 interview of Barnes by FBI agents who told the suspect that the agency “received information that he voted in Connecticut and in Florida during the November 2020 presidential election.”

“It won’t happen again,” Barnes replied, according to an FBI interview report.

When asked why he voted twice, Barnes “stated that he did so because he just wanted to vote twice and wanted to see if he could vote twice,” agents reported.

Barnes was the fourth resident of The Villages to be arrested in recent weeks for allegedly voting twice in the 2020 general election. Two of the other defendants are Republicans, while the third Villager, like Barnes, is an unaffiliated voter. (2 pages)