Sunday, June 05, 2011
Absentee Ballot Fraud is Alive and Well in Miami Dade County. By Geniusofdespair
The Elections Department knows fraud is going on. There was plenty during the Raul Martinez campaign and there was even a Rundle-fumble investigation brought by the campaign that I know Elections knows about because I sent it to Lester Sola 12/30/2010. I read the close-out report, it was enough to make you puke that they couldn't get a case out of it. The people being investigated are now working for Julio Robaina's campaign. Yes, that's a fact.
The good news: The Elections Department can take action. Here are a few things they can do:
Hire a handwriting expert. They know which nursing homes are suspect. Have the expert do random checks on signatures from some of these homes. A handwriting expert is the single most important thing that elections can do to battle fraud.
Send someone to monitor the absentee ballots at a senior (ALF) facility. It is simple, elections know when they arrive at a nursing home/ALF. On the day they arrive, during the meal, let them tell everyone that they are here to help them with their ballots, if they need help, and then have the elections' staffer instruct the people on what to do with the ballots and answer questions. We must have seniors understand the sanctity of the process. They cannot continue to hand over their ballots (what they were doing in the Diaz-Balart/Raul Martinez investigation) to campaign workers TO HELP THEM FILL OUT and/or MAIL.
Start an education campaign at senior centers. How much could it cost to have some staff go out into the field and educate seniors partaking in lunch and breakfast programs during the off-voting times?
Send out a flyer with absentee ballots on how the ballots should be handled and that they have to be mailed by the voter - not picked up by others. Design the flyer in comic book style - pictures with captions.
Anyway, I can think of a lot more, but I fault the Elections Dept. with the fraud that is running rampant in absentee ballots because they are looking the other way in denial.
Julio Robaina got 4,414 more absentee votes than he got on election day. We all shake our heads and know there is something going on with that but like sheep we sit by and accept it.
Here is what you can do: GET A PROMISE FROM THE MAYORAL CANDIDATES THAT THEY WILL HAVE ELECTION CHIEF LESTER SOLA HIRE AT LEAST ONE OR MORE HANDWRITING EXPERTS to train checkers, look at questionable ballot envelopes and spot check absentee ballot signatures against the database (that we and the media need a court order to view). As a strong mayor, they can certainly tell Lester Sola what to do (that is legal under election law) but get the promise now, in front of other people or the media, so it will happen after they are elected. I will hammer on them but good if you get the promise.
I am including absentee ballot return information from the Elections Website as the comments were in conflict, some thinking you are allowed to pick up absentee ballots. Absentee ballots must be returned as follows:
1. IN PERSON - A voter who received an absentee ballot by mail may return his or her own ballot to the Miami-Dade Elections Department at 2700 NW 87th Avenue, Miami, FL 33172 or to the Elections Department’s Branch Office (located in the Lobby of the Stephen P. Clark Center, 111 NW 1st Street) no later than 7:00 pm on Election Day.
2. BY MAIL - An absentee ballot may be returned by delivery through the United States Postal Service.
3. BY VOTER'S DESIGNEE - (Limited to two ballots per election, only one of which may be from a voter who is not the spouse, parent, child, grandparent or sibling of the designee). An absentee ballot may be returned by the voter's designee at 2700 NW 87th Avenue, Miami, FL 33172 or to the Elections Department’s Branch Office (located in the Lobby of the Stephen P. Clark Center, 111 NW 1st Street), on the day prior to and the day of the election if the person designated by the voter is an immediate family member and only on the day of the election if the designee is not an immediate family member. Picture identification of the designee must be presented along with a written statement from the voter containing the following information:
a. Printed name of voter
b. Voter's daytime phone number
c. Voter's date of birth
d. Voter’s registration number (optional)
e. Name of person returning the absentee ballot
f. If the voter is a member of the designee’s immediate family, reason why the voter must have someone else return the absentee ballot
g. If the voter is not a member of the designee’s immediate family, the designee must also present a statement signed by a physician on that physician’s stationery that, due to a medical emergency involving the voter or voter’s dependent, the named voter is unable to vote at the polls and is unable to return an absentee ballot in person
h. Signature of voter