Manatee County man mailed in ballot request for wife who died in 2018, deputies say

Deputies arrested a Manatee County man for voter fraud after he mailed in a ballot request on behalf of his wife. Officials said she died two years ago.

According to the sheriff's office, the Supervisor of Elections Office reported they received two mail-in ballot requests from a husband and wife at the same address.

Then, they discovered the request for the woman's ballot had a different handwriting style from her original voter registration.

Deputies began their investigation on Sept. 17 after election officials told them the signatures didn't match, and that the woman died in 2018.

larry wiggins

Booking image for Larry Wiggins (Manatee County Sheriff's Office)

The suspect, identified as 62-year-old Larry Wiggins, admitted he mailed in his deceased wife's ballot request because he was "testing the system to see if it worked," detectives said. State records show Wiggins is a registered Democrat.

On Sept. 22, the sheriff's office's findings were submitted to the State Attorney's Office, and they ultimately agreed to file charges.

On Thursday, Wiggins was arrested for requesting a mail-in ballot on behalf of another elector.