Congressman Joe Garcia's former chief of staff is accused of illegally requesting dozens of absentee ballots. Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle spoke about the investigation.
Congressman Joe Garcia's former chief of staff is accused of illegally requesting dozens of absentee ballots, and that is a felony.
"He promised that he would work with us in anyway possible," said Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle.
She talked with Garcia last week.
"He said, 'We want to totally cooperate with your investigation, give you whatever information,'" she said.
On Friday, Jeff Garcia, not related to Joe, resigned at the congressman's request. Joe Garcia is serving his first term in District 26.
At a news conference Saturday, Joe Garcia said he had no knowledge of his chief of staff allegedly requesting dozens of primary election absentee ballots.
"I think Jeff was forthright when he spoke to me about this, it does not diminish the anger, this was an ill-conceived plan to increment voter participation," he said.
The man who used to represent the west Miami-Dade district, Republican David Rivera, was embroiled in his own scandal while he was in office.
The Miami Herald reported extensively on how Rivera allegedly financially propped up a Democratic candidate to run against Joe Garcia in last August's primary election. Rivera has not been charged with a crime, and has denied any wrongdoing.
Nova Southeastern University professor Charles Zelden says the absentee ballot system is vulnerable.
"This is the one area we know that real voter fraud actually occurs," said Zelden.
Voter fraud is very rare when people vote in person.
"There is almost no voter fraud," said Zelden, but that's not the case with absentee voting.
"I explain it with a reckless abandon that we play politics in South Florida," said Garcia. "and it should not be that way."
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