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Teen and mother accused of rigging homecoming vote may face decades in jail

A Florida teen and her mother are facing 16 years each of jail time after allegedly rigging votes in the teen’s homecoming court vote.

Emily Grover, 18, and Laura Carroll, 50, have pleaded not guilty to felony charges of interfering with Grover’s homecoming election last year. Investigations into the allegations began in November 2020. The two were initially arrested in March and appeared in court in May. Now, they are facing as many as 16 years in prison.

Last October, Grover was on the Homecoming ballot at Tate High School in Florida. She allegedly acquired the student IDs and birthdays of at least 246 students from a district-wide computer system which Carroll had access to as an assistant principal in the district. Then, the duo cast votes acting as the 246 students, rendering Grover the homecoming queen. 

Caroline Gray, a student council teacher at the school, observed discrepancies and was alerted that many of the votes coming in were fraudulent. Gray spoke to several of the students whose votes appeared to be cast in favor of Grover. One supposedly voted for Grover at 4AM; after speaking to him, he alleged he hadn’t even voted. Other students said they tried to vote but the software said they had already voted.

Grover was later expelled from her school and Carroll was fired from her job. The two are facing harsher sentences than most hackers ever face- in part due to their not guilty pleadings and also due to the outrage by parents, administrators, and other students. 

Grover’s acceptance to University of Western Florida was retroactively denied a week before school began. The two say they wish their lives could “just go back to normal”.

ARTICLE: RITA VOGT

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: ABC7 NY

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