A Marianna woman has been arrested on charges that she submitted fraudulent petition signatures for a proposed constitutional amendment that would have opened the door to casinos in North Florida.

Florida Woman Faces Petition Fraud Charges

A Marianna woman has been arrested on charges that she submitted fraudulent petition signatures for a proposed constitutional amendment that would have opened the door to casinos in North Florida.

A Marianna woman has been arrested on charges that she submitted fraudulent petition signatures for a proposed constitutional amendment that would have opened the door to casinos in North Florida.

Kattie McCalister, 60, was booked Thursday into the Jackson County Jail on five felony counts related to submitting false petitions and five misdemeanor counts of perjury, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said Friday.

McCalister was hired in 2021 to collect petition signatures for what was known as the “Limited Authorization of Casino Gaming” initiative, according to an affidavit for an arrest warrant signed by FDLE Special Agent Richard Gibbs.

The Jackson County Supervisor of Elections office started receiving petitions submitted by McCalister in November 2021 and noticed discrepancies, such as signatures and dates of births not matching information in voter records, the affidavit said.

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That led to the FDLE investigation, with five registered voters saying they had not signed petitions submitted in their names. “Each of the victims swore and attested that they (had) never seen the petition prior to being notified by the Jackson County Supervisor of Elections Office, did not sign or submit that petition, nor gave anyone to include Kattie McCalister permission to complete, sign and submit any petitions on their behalves,” the affidavit said.

“In addition, each victim attested that they had never met Kattie McCalister and that they wished to pursue charges.”

The affidavit said McCalister received $7,193 in payments from Nov. 12, 2021, through Jan. 7, 2022, for gathering petition signatures. It identified her employer as Victory Labs, Inc. The gambling initiative ultimately did not receive enough petition signatures to reach the 2022 ballot.

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