FORT LAUDERDALE – CBS4 spoke with one of those arrested last month, accused of voting illegally, and he asks, what did he really do wrong?
On the day officers came to arrest 71-year-old Nathaniel Singleton at a family member’s home, he was still at work when he received a call about the officers who had come looking for him. “The police were out there in the yard, guns drawn, come out, we know you’re there,” he told CBS4.
He’s surprised because it’s been 2 years since he voted in the 2020 election, and freedom and civic duty is not something Singleton takes lightly.
“I’m a convicted felon but like I said, it’s something that happened through choices I made, but it’s something, if I was told I couldn’t not vote at that time or any other time, I would never have tried,” he explained.
He showed CBS4 his voter registration card, which is part of the reason he thought he was doing the right thing. The card was issued in 2019.
“It was not my intention to vote illegally because the Department of Corrections told me in the pre-release program that once I served my sentence, my rights would automatically be reinstated.”
Singleton served over 12 years in prison and then 12 years probation for a second-degree murder conviction. All the while, he was eager to make his voice count again.
“People who are a minority in the United States, there’s a lot of starving people and rent so high they can’t afford it, we need someone in power who’s going to help the class average,” he said.
Of all the places he registered, he went to the Supervisor of the Elections Office in Broward. “And I don’t understand, if I was trying to vote illegally, I would never have gone to the Election Supervisor’s office,” Singleton explained.
What he said that no one mentioned was that people who had been convicted of murder or sex offenses needed to appeal to have their vote restored.
He told CBS4 just days before his arrest that he explained this to an FDLE agent, not believing it would lead to a new charge. “I can’t afford a lawyer, and right now I’m semi-homeless.”
So he explained he needs help he wants a private attorney not a public defender because he’s worried that they can work with the state and try to broker a plea deal when he wants to maintain his innocence.
“There are 19 other people who were arrested and they said they all had voter cards.”