- Charles Barnes and Jay Ketcik are both residents of The Villages, a retirement community in Florida.
- Barnes and Ketcik both pleaded guilty to voting more than once during the 2020 election — a felony.
- They may avoid further prosecution by doing community service and attending an adult civics class.
Two men from The Villages — a Florida retirement community known for its staunch support of former President Donald Trump — have pleaded guilty to voting more than once during the 2020 election.
Charles F. Barnes, 64, and Jay Ketcik, 63, have admitted, per court documents from Sumter County, Florida, to casting more than one vote during the 2020 election. This is a form of voter fraud, a third-degree felony that carries a prison term of up to five years.
However, Barnes and Ketcik have signed a pre-trial intervention contract, which allows them — having admitted their guilt — to have further prosecution deferred for 18 months, as long as they abide by a series of requirements.
The requirements include mandates that Barnes and Ketcik complete 50 hours of community service and not consume illegal drugs. In addition, the two must attend a 12-week adult civics class based on the textbook “We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution” and pass the class with at least a C-grade.
“The Parties agree that the first step in rehabilitation is to the admission of his wrongdoing,” read the two mens’ contracts with the court. “If the defendant violates the terms of this agreement, and the case is returned to the court’s docket, this document shall be admissible as an admission of guilt.”
According to local media outlet Click Orlando, Barnes and Ketcik were among four residents of The Villages who were arrested as part of an ongoing investigation into voter fraud. The Washington Post reported that while Barnes had not declared his party affiliation, Ketcik was a registered Republican during the 2020 election.
The Orlando Sentinel reported that Ketcik was accused of casting a ballot in Michigan, then voting by mail in Florida. Meanwhile, Barnes previously held an address in Connecticut, per The Orlando Sentinel.
The Florida Secretary of State notes that, in total, 75 individuals were referred to law enforcement in 2020 on complaints of election fraud.