Friday, December 31, 2010

The most troubling issue of 2010: Absentee Ballot Fraud. By Geniusofdespair


Absentee ballot fraud is the issue I see that is most troubling and the issue I want to put effort into in the New Year. That is my resolution.

Both the State Attorney's office and the Elections Department acknowledge problems with Absentee ballots (Elections less so) exist. I think both men mean well but that doesn't change the problem. The Elections chief, Lester Sola, had a long talk with me. He can't fix the problems. He assured me that he is taking all precautions. But I think he fails in properly matching the signatures. I went to see one absentee ballot 2 weeks ago and it CLEARLY was a forgery - nothing like the signature of the voter who was denied her vote (a forged absentee ballot was submitted in her name, when she went to vote on election day they wouldn't allow her to vote). Sola said it is a judgment call and that the signature that the 3 of us looked at was in his office's opinion: Okay. Folks, it was not "OKAY" by a long shot. Sola was pretty testy over the matching. I say, what I saw, was shoddy signature matching. I think that Sola should employ a handwriting expert like Harvey Ruvin did for the petitions. In their effort to make sure every vote counts, the Elections Department is doing us a disservice. I am tired of the 'intent of the voter' argument. Let them fucking learn how to fill out a damn form, put a fucking stamp on an envelope and learn to sign their fucking name or have their ballot disqualified. It says on the form that your vote will be disqualified if you cross out...well guess what, on absentee ballots that doesn't hold true. Also not signing an absentee ballot does not disqualify it, and the Elections Department will pay for postage too. They bend over backwards on these absentee ballots and it hurts fair voting. It gives absentee ballot voters an advantage over us that vote early or on election day.

The State Attorney's office, Joe Centorino, also had a long talk with me. He can't fix the problems either. They both admit there are problems in these senior facilities. Lester Sola believes that campaigns need to be held more accountable for the fraud. Joe just asks that you give him someone to prosecute, in other words, an ironclad case. Raul Martinez's campaign stuck their necks out and did give Centorino names and they even had two tampered with ballots found at elections. Still nothing ever came of it. So it just keeps going and going and we get stuck with crappy candidates that know how to beat the system. Centorino says that the practice of picking up ballots is prohibited by code (a practice he found in the Raul Martinez case) but the ordinance includes no criminal penalty so his hands are tied there. As Centorino noted when he closed his investigation in May of this year:

"While the circumstances provide ample basis for suspicion of illegal or improper activity in connect with the handling of absentee ballots by someone associated with the Diaz-Balart campaign, any chance of proving a crime is remote."


The case was closed and we all lose. Am I angry, you bet I am.

23 comments:

Mensa said...

The only answer is we hire poor people who will be glad to get a little money to make sure all absentee ballots are written for the better of the crooks running and they mail them. If the powers that be do not care enough to stop the stealing of votes, then we must fight back the same way. Boy, I betcha that they look to stop it then.

Anonymous said...

Don't blame the people, blame the people exploiting them. BUT...if the people are so dumb that they let people exploit them, do we really want them voting?

Anonymous said...

Only troubling because (all) your candidates lost?

Geniusofdespair said...

Don't mind people losing...mind people cheating. I am an ethical person. I don't like cheats...don't like you much either.

Marty Kohn said...

Fuck Joe and fuck Rundle. They could indict a ham sandwich if so inclined and regularly indict innocent people yet they won't lift a finger here. Fuck the whole lot of them.

Anonymous said...

I personally knew someone in my neighborhood who went to vote on election day. They never requested nor filled in an absentee ballot. Well, when they went to their polling place, they were told they couldn't vote because they already had an absentee ballot. He was pretty insistent on voting at the poll so they let him - not sure it was provisional or not. I have to wonder which one counted - his actual vote or the fraudulent absentee ballot. You cannot blame the voter here. He didn't do anything wrong but you have to wonder how this can be done and how widespread it it.

Anonymous said...

This is a job for the Ethics Commission. 2011, Robert Myers grows balls. You watch! No more Miami Spice!

Anonymous said...

Absentee ballot is "big business" in this town. You need to get the "right team" in place and then things happen.

Absentee Balllot brokers are available to organize events at senior centers. What a country!

Who is Cookie?

Geniusofdespair said...

Don't bait me when I am angry, that is why your comment is gone. When a candidate tells me they were offered absentee ballots for money that troubles me. When I hear a woman doesn't have her vote counted it troubles me. I don't care who is committing the fraud it has to stop. If some of my candidates lost because of fraud suffice it to say it motivated me but I don't care which side is losing or winning, I don't like the fraud. Period. I want the candidates to win on their own merits not by cheating. If you can't understand that, get off our blog.

Anonymous said...

I would make a simple suggestion to the Elections Department:

1) If a voter shows up at the poll with proper ID THAT vote counts.

2) If they won't let you vote because they claim you have an absentee ballot - GET A SUPERVISIOR!

How stupid or maybe corrupt is the election department where they'll actually count an absentee ballot versus a real life human being in front of them.

CATO said...

G.O.D. cheating in elections have been going on since the first election took place, catch up on some of the history Tweed, Gerry, Daley, La Guardia, LBJ,etc etc and maybe you'll get a better perspective as to where to attack the problem. Not that you can end it but know thy enemy.

The best analysis of elections I hate to say came from someone with little or no electoral experience J Stalin who said basically it doesn't matter who votes but who counts the votes.

Happy New Year

Anonymous said...

Genius, I have told you before that the absentee ballot has existed for a long time, but it has gotten more acute. And as much as I DEEPLY dislike Centorino, because he leans wherever the wind blows, he happens to be right. Nevertheless, there are a lot of people who are responsible for playing a role in this business of buying ballots. For example, we all know that Sergio Pino is used to donating illegal campaign funds BECAUSE HE’S BEEN INVESTIGATED FOR IT. It’s true that nothing came out of that investigation, but nothing ever happens in this community to the rich and powerful. Illegal money is one of the ways that “political consultants” use to buy ballots. Pino is one who knows that he has to donate BIG because if his candidates don’t win, he might be in trouble. But, of course, Pino is no longer Pino, he’s become Bush, Codina, Miller and all the rest who steer the boat of “big business.” A second one is Norman Braman, who should retire because he is too damn old to judge who is an ethical candidate, and which ones are NOT right for this community, AND NOT FOR HIS BUSINESSES, OR FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL. Look at his support for Marco Rubio and Diaz de la Portilla, it makes me vomit!
The third problem happens to be the Miami Herald and the tremendous influence of the SODOM and Gomorrah cabal in practically everything that’s published, and the candidates they support. Ah! Don’t tell me you didn’t know anything about the “cabal”... really? Just say that you want more information and I’ll email you! I’m glad you’re ready to pioneer the “absentee ballot persecution squad,” and everyone should try to help as much we can. It’s time to start CLEANING this community. Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

"Joe just asks that you give him someone to prosecute". ...that's what Centorino told City of South Miami residents when we complained of fraud and public corruption at the City's municipal parking garage and within the City's State and Federal Police Forfeiture accounts during former Mayor Feliu's tenure. Joe (and Rundle) want their cases to be handed to them on a silver platter and that's why M-D County leads the nation is just about every conceivable form of fraud.

Claudia said...

Nothing surprises me with Lester Sola (who was paid $198,478 in FY 2009-10). He was appointed without competition to the Acting Director position in early 2003 by Steve Shiver even though Sola had ZERO elections experience. His buddy George Burgess permanently appointed him to the Supervisor position a couple years later, again with no competition.

All department executives that surround Sola are also Burgess cronies who were similarly appointed without competition and without elections experience. They include Chief Deputy Supervisor Tara Smith ($122,906), Deputy Supervisor John Mendez ($121,251), and Deputy Supervisor Gary Hartfield ($124,255).

Geniusofdespair said...

I want more information anonymous above.

Anonymous said...

How can everyone admit they know this is going on but no one wants to/can fix it. Thanks for making this your new year crusade. Stealing a vote is serious, in local elections nursing homes can change the outcome.

G.o.D.'s little helper O;o) said...

We are not mind readers, folks, help us out here with facts... contact info and details.

Email us. Soon, please. We have an election cycle coming in a very quick few weeks.

PS:

Our farmers are farming in Mexico and our industry is moving to China.


Errr. Bush's administration spearheaded the negotiations of the NAFTA...he couldn't get it finished before he was out of office.

And voter fraud is not bullshit. It is taking away peoples constitutional right to vote whether you are Republican, Democratic, No party or Independent. It is corruption. It is evil. AND of course, in Miami-Dade County it is BIG business.

Anonymous said...

After looking at those salaries in the elections department posted by Claudia, it is no wonder they say an election costs 4 to 5 million dollars. The county salaries are completely out of control. An election should cost half of what they are claiming it costs.

Anonymous said...

Along with the salaries I bet their wasted time, I mean overtime is way up there.

Anonymous said...

Every county employee who works the election (there are hundreds of them) get paid double on that day. They get their huge regular salary PLUS the election worker salary (about $150). Hourly workers get overtime on top of that. A total scam. Look into it.

Anonymous said...

G.O.D your right in saying they're doing the community a disservice. Even if is beyond their control to fix it, the smart thing would have been to acknowledge the problem and say look we cant fix it but we can take steps a, b, c to make it better.
Instead they choose to look the other way.

Anonymous said...

Blog Master,

am aware of people who did not live in the area and voted, and absentee not signing themselves.

how do I report it to.

Geniusofdespair said...

Report it to me geniusofdespair@yahoo.com