Alachua County 2020 voter fraud case results in 3-year prison sentence

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An Alachua County man pleaded no contest to committing voter fraud during the 2020 election Thursday.

Derrick Albert Robinson, 53, was sentenced to 36 months in prison after willfully voting in the 2020 election while not qualified to do so due to his status as a felony sex offender. Robinson’s public defender previously asked for a maximum of 30 months; however, the state attorney proposed 36 months to close the case. The defendant agreed to take the deal.

Robinson, who was recently extradited from Lancaster Correctional Institution in Trenton, asked for a public defender and a speedy conclusion to the case in an April letter to Judge James M. Colaw. Robinson has multiple felony convictions dating back to 1999, including molestation of a child between the ages of 12 and 16, battery, multiple burglaries and possession of illicit drugs.

Robinson on Thursday accepted his sentence with little discussion and showed no emotion. He faced up to 10 years in prison if a jury had found him guilty in a trial.

In Florida, convicted felons are penalized by losing their right to vote. In November 2018, Florida voters passed Amendment 4, lifting this penalty after the defendant finished their sentences, including parole or probation, for all crimes except murder and sexual offenses.

In March 2019, a state law superseded Amendment 4, requiring felons to also pay any court cost or fee associated with their case, even if the defendant was ruled indigent during the case. Even an indigency form, which allows defendants to obtain a public defender, costs $50.

Gov. Ron DeSantis in August announced that the state was pursuing 20 cases of voter fraud. Some defendants, including past sexual offenders like Robinson, said they did not know they were unable to vote in 2020, as they were freely able to register and vote without any notice of ineligibility. Experts maintain that voter fraud is a rare occurrence.

Challenges to the state law made their way in 2020 to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled that a temporary stay on the law could not be lifted ahead of the 2020 presidential election. In dissent were Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan, who argued that felons without murder or sexual offense charges were being disenfranchised.

First- or second-degree felony cases can rack up thousands of dollars in court fees and fines, many of which are mandated by state law and cannot be waived based on income.

Robinson has been held at the Alachua County Jail for a little over three weeks, so Colaw gave him credit for 25 days served off of his three-year sentence.

Colaw concluded the sentencing by asking Robinson if he had any questions or concerns regarding his sentencing. Robinson said he did not, and the judge wished him “good luck” as bailiffs escorted him from the courtroom.

About Sandra McDonald

Sandra is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing

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