Genius of Despair: Absentee ballot inspector

Blog: Eye on Miami

Alias: Genius of Despair

Age: Over 50


Genius of Despair

Primary specialty: Conducting citizen investigations into voter fraud

Last job: Environmental activist

Net worth: N/A. In 2001, Genius purchased a two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo in Aventura for $193,000. Last year, the residence had a market value of $204,000.

Criminal record: None

Blog history: Last year, Genius — whom we've chosen not to identify because he/she fears retaliation from county commissioners and lobbyists — told the story of Judith Thompson, a disabled woman who had her vote stolen; Genius then helped the woman file a complaint with the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office. Though investigators were convinced someone indeed stole Thompson's vote by forging her signature on an absentee ballot, they could not prove who did it. Genius chronicled Thompson's ordeal, which prompted Miami-Dade County Commissioner Rebeca Sosa to sponsor a new law making it a misdemeanor to tamper with absentee ballots.

Why he/she is No. 9: Genius would have ranked higher, but because he/she chooses to remain anonymous, we have to deduct points for G.O.D.'s lack of courage. It's easy to tear down public officials when they don't know who you are. However, Genius's dogged work exposing absentee ballot fraud did lead to a county commissioner taking action.

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