FORT LAUDERDALE – CBS4 talked with one of the people arrested last month, accused of illegally voting, and he’s asking, what did he really do wrong?
The day officers came to arrest 71-year-old Nathaniel Singleton at his relative’s house, he was still at work when he got a call about the officers who came looking for him. “Police was out there in the yard, guns drawn, come out, we know you’re in there,” he told CBS4.
He’s surprised because this is 2 years after he voted in the 2020 elections, and freedom and civic duty isn’t something that Singleton takes lightly.
“I’m a convicted felon but like I said that’s something that happened by choices that I made, but this is something, if I was told that I couldn’t vote at that time or any other time, I would have never tried, ” he explained.
He showed CBS4 his voter card, it’s part of the reason he thought he was doing right by the books. The card was issued in 2019.
“It wasn’t my intention to vote illegally because I was told by the Dept. of Corrections in the pre-release program that once I completed my sentence my rights would automatically be restored.”
Singleton served over 12 years in prison, and then 12 years on probation for a second-degree murder conviction. In all this time, he had looked forward to making his voice count again.
“People that’s a minority in the United States, there’s a lot of people starving, and rent so high they can’t pay it, we need someone in office that’s going to help the middle class,” he said.
Of all the places he signed up, he went to the Supervisor of Elections Office in Broward. “And I don’t understand, if I was trying to vote illegally, I would have never gone to the Supervisor of Election’s office,” Singleton shared.
What he said no one mentioned was that people who had been convicted of murder or sexual offenses had to appeal to restore their voting right.
He told CBS4 just days before his arrest, he explained this to an FDLE agent, not thinking it would lead to a new charge. “I can’t afford a lawyer, and right now I’m semi-homeless.”
So, he explained, he is in need of help, he wants a private lawyer, not a public defender because he is worried, that they may work with the state and try to broker a plea deal when he wants to maintain his innocence.
“There’s 19 other people that were picked up and they said all of them had voter cards.”