Rick Scott Paid $5,000 To An Alleged Boletera For His 2010 Campaign
Florida Gov. Rick Scott
has been dead serious about cleaning up Florida's elections. First,
he targeted 180,000 suspected ineligible voters to strike from the
rolls (though he ended up eliminating only 200 after the Department
of Justice stepped in). Then, he severely restricted voter
registration and reduced early voting.
Yet strangely, the guv
hasn't lifted a single finger to stop the one crime that's really
threatening the November election: absentee-ballot fraud. In
Miami-Dade County, five losing candidates in the August primaries
have filed lawsuits alleging ballot hanky-panky, and two Hialeah
ballot collectors -- or boleteros
-- have been arrested.
So why has Scott
ignored the issue? Maybe it's because he knows he'll need his own
absentee shenanigans to win.
Consider: In 2010, even though he lost early voting and Election Day balloting in Miami-Dade County, Scott killed Democrat Alex Sink in absentee ballots by 20,745 votes. They helped provide the difference in Scott's one-percentage-point victory.
Now there's new evidence that Scott used boleteros in Dade. Records show the governor paid $5,000 to Emelina Llanes, a 74-year-old Hialeah resident identified as a boletera by former Hialeah Police Chief Rolando Bolaños and city firefighter Eric Johnson. Scott's campaign reports say the money was for "contract labor."
During Hialeah's mayoral race last year, Llanes worked for Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez. Bolaños and Johnson, who supported Hernandez's opponent, Raul Martinez, say they followed Llanes to public-housing apartment complexes at 1470 and 1480 W. 38th Place before the election.
They claim they spotted Llanes going door-to-door to pick up absentee ballots from elderly residents.
"When she came out, we approached her because we believed she was carrying ballots," Bolaños says. "She started yelling that she was being violated and that she had chest pains."
The ex-cop says Llanes, who allegedly had the ballots in a bag, ran into an apartment. When two Hialeah Police officers responded to the scene, they found no ballots, and Llanes denied the accusations.
Banana Republican left a note at Llanes's Hialeah residence asking her for comment, but she did not respond. Scott's media office referred questions to the Republican Party of Florida, whose spokeswoman, Kristen McDonald, did not return a phone call seeking comment.
Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.
Get the Weekly Newsletter
Our weekly feature stories, movie reviews, calendar picks and more - minus the newsprint and sent directly to your inbox.
- Poll: Floridians Chill With Gay Marriage, Almost Ready for Medical Marijuana
- Miami-Dade Gained 21,000 New Residents Last Year, but Broward and Palm Beach Are...
- Artist Posts Flyers Around Wynwood For "Lost Art," but Gallery Says He's Full Of It
- Miami Skyline Featured on Jacksonville Jaguars' Draft Hat