A Villager is buying out of community service in a plea deal in a voter fraud cased dating back to the 2020 presidential election.
John Rider, 62, a resident of the Village of Virginia Trace, cast his ballot in person during early voting Oct. 28, 2020 in Sumter County. He also cast an absentee ballot in New York, according to an arrest document. At the time, he was registered as a voter with No Party Affiliation in Sumter County.
He was arrested in 2021 on a felony charge of casting more than one ballot in an election.
Rider entered into a pre-trial intervention contract earlier this month in Sumter County Court. As part of the contract, Rider has agreed to perform 50 hours of community service, but was allowed buy out at the rate of $10 per hour. In a followup fax message to the court, Rider indicated he intends to use bond money from the case to buy out of community service. The remainder of the bond money will be refunded to him.
Rider and his wife Carol purchased their home in 2019 at 904 Moses Loop in The Villages.
Three other Villagers also faced voter fraud charges in the wake of the 2020 election:
• Last year, 73-year-old Joan Marie Halstead of the Village of Palo Alto was ordered to complete a civics class and perform community service. She was arrested for casting more than one ballot in the 2020 election. She has requested that her court record be expunged.
• Jay Richard Ketcik, 64, who lives at 5564 Henry Loop in the Village of Monarch Grove, was arrested in 2021 on a charge of voter fraud. The Manistique, Mich. native cast a ballot in Florida by mail on Oct. 13, 2020. He also cast a second ballot in Michigan via absentee ballot, according to an arrest report. At the time, he was a registered Republican.
• Charles Franklin Barnes, 65, was also ordered into civics class. At the time of his arrest in early 2022, Barnes’ primary address was in Milford, Conn. and he also had a home in the Callahan Villas in the Village of Osceola Hills. He and his wife have since bought a home elsewhere in The Villages. He was charged with casting more than one ballot in the 2020 election. He was registered with No Party Affiliation.