Bet this scenario has been played out for years, all over the country… and how hard would it be, really? Walk into a nursing home with a bundle of absentee ballots, walk out with 20 or 30 more votes for your guy. All is fair in love and war?
MIAMI (AP) — A Hialeah woman has been arrested for suspected absentee ballot fraud after authorities say she collected at least 31 ballots under suspicious circumstances.
Prosecutors say 56-year-old Deisy Cabrera turned herself in Thursday at the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office. She faces a felony absentee ballot fraud charge and two misdemeanor counts of illegally possessing more than two ballots that belong to other voters.
A police affidavit shows that Cabrera was observed collecting ballots from voters and submitting requests for more ballots. Police followed her to several nursing homes and assisted-living facilities. At least one resident was physically incapable of completing an absentee ballot that Cabrera had in her possession.
Several Hialeah residents have said Cabrera filled out their ballots for this election or earlier ones.
The Miami Herald expands on the story:
A Hialeah boletera at the center of a weeklong absentee-ballot investigation that muddied the Miami-Dade mayor’s race was arrested Thursday after police say she fraudulently obtained an absentee ballot from a terminally ill woman in a nursing home.
Deisy Penton de Cabrera, 56, was charged with absentee-ballot fraud, a third-degree felony, and two misdemeanor counts of violating a county ordinance that makes it illegal for anyone to possess more than two ballots belonging to other voters. Investigators say Cabrera illegally collected at least 31 absentee ballots for the Aug. 14 primary election.
Hours after her office made the arrest, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernández Rundle, who is seeking reelection, announced she would recuse herself from any further involvement in the case to avoid a potential conflict of interest with an unnamed person who may be linked to both Cabrera and her campaign.
The arrest quelled some of the speculation in the case, which for a week has roiled Hialeah and the races for Miami-Dade’s state attorney and mayor — though for whom Cabrera was working is still unknown.
Accounts from elected officials and others who have known Cabrera for years indicate she is a small-time ballot broker, known in Spanish as a boletera, based in Hialeah and working for one or more candidate or campaign consultants. Though candidates and political committees are required to disclose what they pay consultants, the way consultants then spend the money is not publicly reported.
So she was well known in the community for what she did. Nice, Miami.