Absentee ballots have been sent out for this year's primary, which means it's officially election season in Miami-Dade. Of course, every election season here ends up with someone getting busted for voter fraud.
Well, the Miami-Dade Police Benevolent Association is at least hoping to make someone a little richer off of all this corruption. The Dade PBA is offering $10,000 for tips that lead to voter fraud protection in an effort that they hope will make it easier to oust dirty political operates.
"We decided to do this because absentee ballot fraud has been in this community for years and nothing has happened," Blanca Torrents Greenwood, the PBA's executive director, told Florida Watchdog. "We thought, let's do this to see if we get results."
While voter fraud is a felony in Florida, the group is concerned that the courts don't take infractions seriously enough. Many offenders are let off with relatively light punishment.
Jeffrey Garcia, former chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia, was popped last year after requesting hundreds of absentee ballots with out voters' permission, and got off with just 90 days in prison and 18 months probation.
Former Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina's uncle, Sergio Robaina, was arrested for ballot tampering during the county mayoral special election, but also only received a year of probation.
The PBA hopes to root out more corruption with the cash rewards. Anyone with information is asked to call 305-593-0044. Tips will then be forwarded to the appropriate police department.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.