While the investigation on absentee ballot fraud continues in Miami-Dade, more losing candidates are demanding re-counts and one Dade County commissioner wants to change the rules on voting absentee.
In court Friday, the state had a plea offer for absentee ballot broker, Daisy Cabrera - three years of probation in exchange for her full cooperation with the investigation of absentee ballot fraud in Hialeah.
Cabrera, 56, is charged with absentee ballot fraud, a third degree felony and two misdemeanor counts of possessing more absentee ballots than allowed.
But her defense attorney, Eric Castillo says not so fast.
“My client is presumed innocent until the state proves her guilty beyond and to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt. All we got today was paperwork,” Castillo said.
While the case against Cabrera will be decided in criminal court, more lawsuits regarding possible ballot fraud are arriving in civil court.
Paul Crespo is one of several candidates that say they lost the last elections because absentee ballots were manipulated. Crespo was running for state representative.
“I lost my race by about 700 votes of which 671 of them were specifically absentees, most of them in Sweetwater,” Crespo said.
He's not ready to accept those results.
“One option is having a new election and we’re asking for that or a second option is then to have - at least my case in particular leaves me within 39 votes of my opponent - and I think that’s close enough to ask for a manual recount,” Crespo said.
Dade County Commissioner Rebeca Sosa successfully pushed legislation that penalizes breaking the rules regarding absentee ballots at a county level, but now wants to do more to prevent possible ballot fraud: go back to 1997, she said when only certain voters could cast absentee ballots.
“In the past we had it, and the conditions were people who were sick, people who had a doctor’s certificate, people who had problems with mobility, people who were physically disabled, people who had to travel, those were the people that were qualified to become electors in that way,” Sosa said.
She hopes this will happen before the presidential elections.
Commissioner Sosa will present her resolution to the rest of the commission next Thursday and if approved, the commission as a whole will ask the Florida State legislature to change the requirements to cast absentee ballots.