Thursday, August 16, 2012

The pure math of ballot fraud in Miami-Dade ... by gimleteye

One reader posted, "This is not democracy." Another reader noted, "Only half the electorate in Miami-Dade is registered to vote." I can't disagree with the implications of either, nor the readers who have long commented on EOM that that the state attorney (just returned to office in this week's primary), state and federal investigators have tolerated ballot fraud in Miami for a very long time.

For two years, this blog has highlighted absentee ballot fraud. My co-blogger, Genius of Despair, literally went to the elections department and asked whether signatures matched between voting records and absentee ballots.

This week, of the 8 percent of Miami-Dade residents who turned out to vote, 37 percent voted by absentee according to the Miami Herald. "Overall, less than half the votes in the primary were cast at the voting booth on Tuesday. In addition to the absentee votes, another 38,000 votes were cast during the early voting period; of the 248,496 total votes cast, just 117,591 were cast on Election Day."

What that means is that less than 4 percent of Miami-Dade residents decided who should advance through the primary election. No wonder absentee ballots play such an outsized role in the outcome or why the ballot collectors are like corner crack dealers in Miami-Dade.

But the underlying public attitude is even more disturbing: people don't care about the outcome because they believe democracy is a rigged game. With a governor who spent $80 million of a fortune made leading a company that exploited government reimbursements for health care, or another governor whose first consultant job after leaving Tallahassee was with Lehman Brothers, that sold the state hundreds of millions of bad debt into its pension funds, with the Tea Party -- funded by big corporations and polluters -- pushing its own virulent forms of madness, who can disagree? At the level of local public office, it's just as bad if not worse. The revolving door between regulators (ie. county commissioners and high paid staff) and regulated?

No wonder people don't register to vote and don't vote, if they are.

On the other hand, abandoning the ballot box empowers absentee ballot collectors. Call it a black market democracy and a black mark on the United States of America. It makes one wonder, of all those kids rallying and chanting "USA! USA!" when Osama Bin Laden was assassinated: how many of them were registered to vote and how many of them ever voted?

This is why I believe that on voting day, all businesses should be shut down and peoples' fingers should be inked to show that they voted and to highlight those who do not vote. It is how they do it in the world's largest democracy, India. I took the photo above, last spring.

In the meantime, the FBI -- that already considers South Florida to be the proving ground of fraud in the US -- should send in hundreds of agents to infiltrate the ballot rigging that is a standard part of elections in Florida's most populous county. It should have happened a long time ago, but truth be told: high officials in both political parties -- Democrats and Republicans -- have tolerated the corruption.

Make this a federal case because local and state law enforcement won't.


Squathole said...

"What that means is that less than 4 percent of Miami-Dade residents decided who should advance through the primary election."

Why is a vote cast by early or absentee ballot any less representative of the electorate than one on the day of the election?

Even so, 8% is pathetic. It's worth point out though that NOT voting is also a statement of opinion.

Geniusofdespair said...

My cup of Joe is turning my stomach. You gave me a lot to digest and none of it is good...except the part about me.

Anonymous said...

There is another angle to this absentee voting that should be looked into. I requested an absentee ballot at my new address months before the deadline for absentee ballot requests. I noticed that while I was getting bags of campaign literature from the candidates, the absentee ballot never appeared. I was curious because why would the candidates get the correct address, but the actual ballot never came? I then went on line and found out it was sent to an earlier address that I had an absentee ballot sent to some time ago. I immediately went out to early voting as I felt someone could be using my ballot because they thought I would not vote. When I got to the early voting place, it was a problem even though I had my voting card and my picture ID and told them I never got the ballot. But I got to vote anyway. There sould be no problem for the presidential election. I wonder how many people requested absentee ballots, did not get them, got tons of mailings from candidates, and the ballot was identified at the county's website as mailed somehwere else?

Anonymous said...

God save us from mandatory voting! I do not want the future of our democracy resting in the hands of people who have zero interest in political issues, zero information on the same issues and candidates, and may vote for the most idiotic candidates out of spite or ignorance or a warped sense of humor. Please do not disturb the non-voters!

RToMiami said...

Be weary of what you wish for! India has among the most corrupt democratically elected politicians. Aside from the "farmed" AB of elderly and disabled voters, the vast majority would be considered (although laughable to some of us) "educated" on the issues. Fold in apathetic, disinterested and uneducated potential voters and the glorified popularity races we have today would be far worse. That's not to touch the potential unknowns how a new tyranny of the majority may look. Although for a glimpse of it we can look at public opinion polls of all respondents (not just registered and likely to vote), and their responses are scary. Remember Rick Scott was elected Governor in an election with higher turnout. Democrats always make the mistake of believing that more voters mean more votes for them. The statistics just do not support it. So from a Republican, your solution to winning should not be based on attempting to create a larger pool of voters but securing those that reliably do vote. Notice how well Luis Garcia faired compared to the others because he used traditional Republican/Old Democrat machine style politics. 

Anonymous said...

There are many little things the Elections Department should look out for in getting ready for Nov. For example in FL City the polling place should not be right next door to the Police Dept. In fact, no polling place should be in or adjacent to a Police Dept.

Anonymous said...

I think it's a cop out to say that people don't vote because democracy is rigged. I think they are freakin lazy. And stupid.
I always vote, and I take the time to inform myself on the candidates. Then again, probably most of EOMs readership does. But I gotta tell you, I feel like a fool voting for judges. It's almost an insult to our intelligence - they can't opine on anything, there's no way to get to know them, so our decision to vote for a candidate is almost relegated to the cute name, or their ethnics, or their gender. That sucks.

Anonymous said...

Miami-Dade County
Home Rule Charter

Article - 1
Board of
County Commissioners

20. Make investigations of county affairs, inquire
into the conduct, accounts, records,
and transactions of any department or office
of the county, and for these purposes require

reports from all county officers and employees,
subpoena witnesses, administer oaths,
and require the production of records.