Absentee Voters Beware: Some Ballot Collection Tactics Smell a Bit Funny

Downright shady news from the Herald this weekend: Three voters from Hialeah who voted for Raul Martinez say a man claiming to be from the campaign came by their house to pick to up their absentee ballots, after they received a call from someone also claiming to be from the Martinez campaign. Oh, how thoughtful of the Martinez campaign to offer this service. Except the man didn't work for Martinez, and the calls were traced back to a consultant working for Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart.

Unfortunately this isn't the only Republican absentee ballot collection controversy in the state that smells a little funny. A video journalist from TheUptake.Com stopped by a McCain/Palin office in Orlando. A spokesman proudly said the campaign isn't paying many people, and relies on volunteers — all except for a "walker program," where people are paid to go collect — that's right — absentee ballots. The journalist decided to interview some of these paid workers, but then a campaign worker came out, yelled at her, put his hand over the camera, said the workers had signed confidentiality agreements, and threatened to call the police.

Although there's not enough evidence to be sure there's something truly nefarious going on, we urge you not to ignore the stink of these incidents. Visit Miami-Dade's election website for absentee voters and make sure your vote gets safely delivered (do it through the U.S. mail, or drop it off at the elections office in Doral or at the Stephen P. Clark Center); then take the time to check the status of your absentee ballot before Election Day.

--Kyle Munzenrieder

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