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06:43 GMT +3 hours20 December 2014
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Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

US Feds Investigate Voter Intimidation Letters

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The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is looking into fake letters sent to voters in the state of Florida questioning their citizenship and eligibility to vote, an act of voter intimidation election officials say.

The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is looking into fake letters sent to voters in the state of Florida questioning their citizenship and eligibility to vote, an act of voter intimidation election officials say.

"We're taking it as a serious situation," said David Couvertier, a spokesman for the FBI in Tampa. "We're looking at everything from civil rights violations to election fraud -- to everything in between," he told NBC news.

Officials say between 50 to 100 fake letters, that first began appearing last Friday, have been reported in at least 26 counties in Florida, one of the key battleground states in the November presidential election.

According to media reports, the letters tell recipients the election office has received information "bringing into question your eligibility as a registered voter."

The letter states only US citizens can vote, and that it is a felony to fraudulently register. It also instructs voters to return an attached "Voter Eligibility Form" within 15 days or risk being removed from the eligible voter roster.

"A nonregistered voter who casts a vote in the State of Florida may be subject to arrest, imprisonment, and/or other criminal sanctions," the letter warns.

Florida officials say both Democrats and Republicans received the letters.

"Anytime anybody’s trying to prevent somebody from voting that’s a serious issue so in our state we have zero tolerance,” said Florida Governor Rick Scott. “We want everybody to vote.”