MANATEE -- Carlos Beruff listed Cuba as his birthplace on a voter registration form in Manatee County, despite multiple assertions by Beruff and his campaign he was actually born in Miami.
The 2004 voter registration form for Beruff, a candidate for Senate to replace Cuban-American Sen. Marco Rubio, lists his birthplace as Cuba, while a 2008 registration form lists his state of birth as Florida, Politico originally reported.
Beruff has said multiple times on the campaign
trail and on his website he was born in Miami to Cuban refugees.
Misreporting information on a voter registration form is a third-degree felony and punishable by up to a $5,000 fine and five years in prison. The form lists that information right next to where Beruff wrote Cuba in 2004.
Beruff's campaign told Politico reporters they "should have better things to do with their time."
Chris Hartline, spokesman for the Beruff campaign, told the Bradenton Herald the attention to the issue amounts to "weak attempts to sling mud" by "professional politicians."
"The 2004 form was an error," Hartline said. "Carlos was born in 1958 at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami."
Being born in Cuba would not disqualify Beruff from running for Senate, as only the vice president and president have to be natural-born citizens under the Constitution.
Beruff listed himself as a Republican on the 2004 and 2008 forms. Further requests for his voting history show he voted in every election and primary since 2004.
Mike Bennett, supervisor of elections for Manatee County, said he believes it was just a "scribner's error," and Beruff probably thought the form was asking for his ethnicity.
"I don't think there's a story here," Bennett said.
Asked how often people are charged for erroneously filling out voter application forms, Bennett said he hadn't heard of any. He has served as supervisor of elections since 2013 and was a state senator before then.