PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — The Florida Department of Law Enforcement arrested a mother and daughter accused of illegally accessing hundreds of student accounts to rig the vote and crown the teen homecoming queen.
Laura Rose Carroll, 50, and her daughter, 17, are charged with offense against users of computers, computer systems, computer networks, and electronic devices; unlawful use of a two-way communication device; criminal use of personally identified information; and conspiracy to commit these offenses.
The alleged scheme took place at Tate High School in Pensacola, where Carroll’s daughter was enrolled. Carroll worked as an assistant principal at an elementary school in the same district at the time.
In October 2020, hundreds of votes for Tate High School’s Homecoming Court were tagged as fraudulent, with 117 votes originating from the same IP address linked to Carroll’s phone.
Carroll’s daughter was still crowned homecoming queen, however, video and pictures online show.
Multiple students later reported that Carroll’s daughter described using her mother’s access to Focus, the student information system, to cast votes from students’ accounts.
FDLE investigators started looking into the case in November 2020 and found that Carroll had access to the school board’s portal program and that she and her daughter accessed students accounts.
In August of 2019, Carroll’s Focus account had access to 372 high school records – 339 of them were students from Tate High School, the investigation found.