Politics

Local Proud Boy Worked Miami-Dade Polling Station for August 23 Primary

The Twitter account Miami Against Fascism identified this poll worker as "Proud Boy Nowell Salgueiro, known for advocating political violence and a member of the @MamiDadeGOP executive [committee].
The Twitter account Miami Against Fascism identified this poll worker as "Proud Boy Nowell Salgueiro, known for advocating political violence and a member of the @MamiDadeGOP executive [committee]. @MIAAgainstFash screenshot via Twitter
Over the past several years, members of the far-right Proud Boys have sought to make their presence felt in many an avenue of civic life.

Local school boards. Police departments. Political committees (including one in Miami's own backyard).

And, as of Florida's August 23 midterm primary elections, the polls. That's right, it seems at least one applicant to work at an election site in Miami-Dade took the county’s encouraging words to "Be a Proud Poll Worker" literally.

According to a photo posted online by the Twitter account Miami Against Fascism (@MIAAgainstFash), purported Proud Boy member Nowell Salgueiro was one of the many workers who helped voters across Miami-Dade on Florida's primary election day. An image shows him sporting a polling sticker on his plaid button-up shirt with his first name and the word "clerk" scribbled in black Sharpie, posing next to a box labeled "official elections material."

"So proud of my brother from another mother who is managing one of the voting locations assuring there is election integrity," reads an Instagram post from the far-right group Moms for Liberty. "Lets go!!"
Suzy Trutie, deputy supervisor of elections for the Miami-Dade County Elections Department, confirmed in an email to New Times that the county hired Salgueiro as a poll worker for Precinct 434 at Banyan Elementary School in Westchester.

According to Trutie, the requirements to serve as a poll worker include being respectful of all voters, remaining nonpartisan while at the polls, being able to read and write the English language, and being a registered or pre-registered voter in Miami-Dade County. Polling clerks are tasked with supervising the election board, completing required paperwork before the polls open and after they close, and reporting "specified supplies" to the collection center after the polls close.

"All poll workers attest to remain unbiased, nonpartisan, respectful and professional while performing assigned election duties," Trutie wrote. "Miami-Dade County does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, orientation, age, disability, religious or political beliefs."

Since the photo of Salgueiro was posted last night, people across the nation have flooded the tweet with comments.

"So @MDCElections is now hiring Proud Boys as poll workers @MayorDaniella?" asked Miami-based documentary producer Alfred Spellman, tagging Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine-Cava.

"Perfectly functional 'democratic” system,'" commented another person.

"Cool cool cool cool cool cool cool," quipped a third.

Salgueiro, one of at least six current or former Proud Boys who are reportedly members of the Miami-Dade Republican Executive Committee, has been identified as a Proud Boy by the New York Times and in photos shared on Twitter by Miami Against Fascism. According to public records, he owned a Florida company called Deplorable Troll USA LLC until last year and still owns two others: Strategem Kings Inc. and Cold Concepts Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Corp.

Court records show Salgueiro was arrested for battery on an Orlando police officer in 2007 and for trespassing after a warning in Miami-Dade in 2010 and pleaded not guilty in both incidents. Records in Orlando do not show any result other than "closed"; the local case was never prosecuted. Two restraining orders were served against him in April involving "dating violence" cases, both of which were later dismissed. A third April restraining order stemming from a stalking case remains open, with a hearing scheduled for Friday, August 26.

Salgueiro did not answer his phone or respond to a text message from New Times requesting comment.

Meanwhile, having lost the August 23 Republican primary for U.S. Congressional District 11, Proud Boy darling and self-described most banned woman in the world Laura Loomer has refused to concede, baselessly alleging voter fraud and "big tech election interference." Loomer was defeated by incumbent Daniel Webster, who garnered 42,316 votes (50.7 percent) to Loomer's 37,098 votes (44.5 percent). The other 3,985 ballots cast in the election went to a third candidate, Gavriel E. Soriano. The district, south of Ocala, skews heavily senior citizen, as it's home to the famed retirement community known as the Villages.
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Alex DeLuca is a staff writer at Miami New Times.
Contact: Alex DeLuca