Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office Investigating Potential Voter Fraud

Voters can only have two absentee ballots by law

By Willard Shepard
|  Thursday, Jul 26, 2012  |  Updated 9:38 PM EDT
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State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle would not say exactly who her office is looking at as it investigates whether some voters committed fraud by having more absentee ballots than they’re allowed. County Commission Chairman Joe Martinez, the office of Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez and elections official Christina White also spoke with NBC 6 about the issue.

State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle would not say exactly who her office is looking at as it investigates whether some voters committed fraud by having more absentee ballots than they’re allowed. County Commission Chairman Joe Martinez, the office of Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez and elections official Christina White also spoke with NBC 6 about the issue.

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The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office confirms it is investigating whether some voters committed fraud by having more absentee ballots than they’re allowed.

A new law in the county says that a voter can only have two absentee ballots – and can go to jail if caught with more.

“The County Commission took it upon themselves to try to stop what appeared to be sort of rampant absentee ballot fraud in our community,” State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle told NBC 6.

The state attorney said the commission provided for jail time for those caught with too many absentee ballots.

“This was one way they thought that they could prevent the massive collection and the massive doctoring if it was in fact occurring,” Fernandez Rundle said.

The state attorney would not say exactly who her office is looking at.

“If these people were paid by the campaign, then Mr. Gimenez has to answer for it,” said County Commission Chairman Joe Martinez, who is challenging Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez in the Aug. 14 mayoral election. “If it’s a volunteer, you can't control what people do, they get very passionate, they go off and who knows what they do.”

The mayor’s office said that two women who could be targets of the investigation do not
work for them and have never worked for them, and said that Gimenez’s campaign is one of integrity.

The Miami-Dade Elections Department says generally one person should have only one absentee ballot.

“We have safeguards in place on the outgoing of a ballot and also on the incoming as well. To add to the voter’s protection, we encourage all of our voters to handle their ballot at all times, because voting should really remain between the voter and the elections department only,” said Christina White, the deputy supervisor of elections.

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