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.