Prosecutors dropped the charges against a 69-year-old Black woman arrested last month on voter fraud charges in Tallahassee, Florida.
Marsha Ervin was on probation after a felony conviction when she voted in the 2020 general and 2022 primary elections.
In a filing on Tuesday, State Attorney Jack Campbell wrote, “There is no witness who can testify to the defendant being told that she was ineligible to vote and some evidence to corroborate her assertions that she believed she could lawfully vote.”
Ervin’s probation officer played a role in Campbell’s decision. She gave the state two documents that reviewed the conditions of Ervin’s probation.
According to the filing, one was signed in October 2022 and explicitly explains that the offender could not legally vote while on probation. The other was signed in November 2018 and does not contain this wording.
“The voting incidents were between these two dates, and there is no indication that she has voted since being provided this information,” Campbell wrote.
The filing also shows prosecutors spoke to the Leon County supervisor of elections, who called Ervin’s voting “an innocent mistake.”
Tallahassee police arrested Ervin, based on information from a Florida Office of Election Crimes and Security investigation, at her home around 3 a.m. on September 29, an arrest affidavit shows.
“I was excited for and happy for Ms. Ervin,” her attorney, Mutaqee Akbar, tells CNN. “I don’t think she deserved to go through this whole process. I am happy that this part of it is all over for her.”
Civil rights and state democratic leadership have noted that Ervin’s case highlights the confusion many people with felony convictions face when trying to navigate voting in Florida.
Akbar hopes it acts as a cautionary tale to investigators with the Election Crimes and Security office. “I’m hoping that it gives them some pause to look for people who are actually committing fraud by voting twice for dead people, as opposed to innocent people like Miss Ervin,” he said.