Possible Voter Fraud Investigation Underway in Doral

A Doral office building is at the center of an investigation into possible voter fraud just days before the election for mayor in the growing city.

Voters in the contested mayor's race will head to the polls Tuesday but now the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office is investigating if some registered voters shouldn't be on the voter rolls at all.

The investigation centers around the office building where eight people told the elections department they were living, all of them in just one suite. The problem is the City of Doral says this isn't zoned for anyone to live in the building and by all indications there's no one living there and that violates the basic rule to register to vote, which is you have to tell elections where you actually live and sleep at night.

Johnathan Aserraf is the man state records show operates a business behind the door of unit 337 in the office building. Investigators from the state attorney now want to know why Aserraf and seven other people listed this as their official address when they registered to vote.

"Anytime we have a reason to believe that something is suspicious we immediately refer it to the proper authorities," Miami-Dade Supervisor of Elections Christina White told NBC 6.

NBC 6 asked the elections department to check its records and see if Aserraf and the others used the address of the office building on their voter registration forms and the answer from elections. They did.

"The law says that a voter must register to vote at the residence that they call their home where they sleep at night," White said.

On Wednesday afternoon NBC 6 went to see Aserraf but he wasn't there. He later called to say there was no fraud and he simply listed his office address on the form instead of his residence in Doral. Aserraf also said that his brother did the same thing he did.

The City Of Doral sent an email saying "Currently, the use of the property is office...At this time, there is no residential use on this property."

The elections department on Tuesday will hold the runoff between challenger JC Bermudez, the former Doral mayor, and current Mayor Luigi Boria, a race where every vote could make a difference.

"The responsibility is always on the voter that when they take an oath when they register to vote, when they are in the act of voting, that they are required to follow Florida law and the Constitution of the state of Florida and that oath is on the voter registration application," White said.

Aserraf said he didn't know the other people who were found using his office to register to vote but he says he runs a virtual office with several hundred clients and wouldn't know if others had done the same thing.

As to this happening in other office buildings, elections is leaving that up to the state attorney.

"We are not an investigative or enforcement agency so we will leave that in the hands of the investigators," White said.

That's something the state attorney will be checking to see not just about this specific office but if there is any widespread use of offices for registering to vote. The obvious trouble is that you could have people who don't live here voting in an election when they shouldn't be.

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