Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Eye on Miami Mentioned in The Miami Herald. By Geniusofdespair

The Miami Herald's Readers Forum, by County Commissioner Rebeca Sosa:

Thanks to the blog, Eye on Miami, and to a resident who came before the Miami-Dade Commission to tell us how she was a victim of voter fraud, I realized it was important to work on improving the existing absentee-ballot law. Last year, I sponsored a local ordinance adding penalties for the mass-collection of absentee ballots that was co-sponsored by commissioners Lynda Bell, Esteban Bovo, Jose Diaz, Audrey Edmonson, Sally Heyman, Barbara Jordan, Jean Monestime, Dennis Moss and Xavier Suarez. This past election was the first election where this ordinance started being enforced with these penalties.

Realizing that more needed to be done and that state law does not allow us to impose felony penalties for local ordinances without state authorization, I urged the Florida Legislature to increase the offense level from a misdemeanor to a felony when an individual retrieves or returns more than one absentee ballot from a nonrelative. Additionally, next week I will present a resolution urging the Legislature to revert to the absentee-ballot rules in place prior to 1997, which limited absentee-ballot use to voters with a significant challenge in accessing a polling station.

In light of what has transpired during the last election, I hope that the Legislature will discuss and seriously consider this proposal. We need to go back to a time when voting absentee was a privilege. We must continue to have transparency in our voting system and, as members of government, we must enact laws that will protect the voting ability of those who cannot vote because of certain physical limitations.

It is our responsibility to preserve the most precious right of a democracy, the right to vote. Let’s review the policies we have in place and determine areas where improvements can be made. I believe in the people of this county and trust that they want to make a difference. I will continue to work on legislation that will preserve a citizen’s right to vote and restore integrity to the absentee-ballot process.


Anonymous said...

The GOP has been charging that there is a great deal of election fraud with non voters voting, and passing legislation in many states making it more difficult to vote if you don't have proper state issued ID.
The fact seems to be that this is a false claim. The real voter fraud is in the absentee ballot votes that often change winners and losers, to which candidates pay for people to manipulate nursing home, public housing, and disabled residents ballots to swing elections.
This practice has no place in a democracy, based on fair and free elections.

Anonymous said...

Commissioner Sosa has excellent relationships with most of the Miami-Dade Delegation. She should convene a Blue Ribbon Task Force of legislators, commissioners, city officials and right-minded campaign strategists to formulate a comprehensive response to this assault on our democracy.

It will take more than passing a resolution "urging" the Legislature to act. Now is the time to form a local Task Force that will take public testimony and craft a plan of action.

We are fortunate to have a leader on this issue who is willing to get out front and make a difference. Thank you, Commissioner Sosa.

Anonymous said...

Suspiciously absent as co sponsors are Martinez & Bareirro!

I don't know why Souto didn't co sponsor either unless he wasn't there.

I disagree on the task force, but appreciate your thought out idea. The reason being is that I think the voters have seen enough.

This is a simple change of undoing some very bad legislation written because the powers that be at the time wanted the AB's to have equal standing as going to the polls, which they didn't have.

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of making absentee voting more restricted. It really was designed for people who honestly could not get to the polls. Thanks go to Genius for calling attention to this and to Sosa for taking it on. Now if we can just get to restoring early voting - certainly on the weekend prior to the election - and maybe even a day off for voting.

Anonymous said...

Interesting article in today's Herald about a lawsuit just filed on this matter.

YZee said...

Why didn't Lester Sola or Penny Townsley propose legislation, implement safeguards, or hire investigators? As long as the mayor is allowed to appoint unqualified political hacks to the Supervisor of Elections position, we will continue to have a voter fraud problem in our county.

Anonymous said...

I think there should be a hefty fine (let's say $5000) for anyone caught either picking up absentee ballots, but also to the people giving their ballots to the boleteras. Once these seniors know that it may be a big fine that will hurt their wallets, they will abstain from rendering their ballots to the highest bidder.

Anonymous said...

Kudos to you Genius. Your hard work and dedication are paying off. You are making a difference in a community that really needs it. Thanks for being there for your readers. We really appreciate you and the forum that you have provided for us.

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.