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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – History has shown us that most voter fraud in South Florida does not take place on Election Day. It usually happens when absentee ballots are falsified.
Absentee ballot fraud has led to many arrests and lawsuits over the years.
In 1997, it led to the removal of Miami Mayor Xavier Suarez.
“No one in my campaign no one has done anything improper,” Suarez said at the time.
The courts disagreed, removing Suarez from office and replacing him with Joe Carollo.
In 2012, property appraiser Pedro Garcia claimed absentee ballot fraud led to his defeat by Carlos Lopez-Cantera, now Florida’s lieutenant governor.
“I think this is a very clear case of sour grapes,” Lopez-Cantera said.
Florida law requires voters to show ID when they vote.
Voter rolls are checked periodically to prevent dead people from voting, which happened in that infamous 1997 election.
And all absentee ballots require matching signatures on request forms and ballots.
“When an absentee ballot is delivered to our office, we check the signature,” Miami-Dade Elections Supervisor Christina White explained. “And these are people who have gone through signature recognition training.”
Suspicious looking ballots go to the canvassing board, made up of the supervisor of elections and two county court judges, who decide if the ballot should be counted or tossed to protect the integrity of the election.
“Elections in the state of Florida are not rigged and as election professionals we should do everything in our power to build voter confidence and not have it broken down,” White said.
After the disastrous 2000 presidential election in Florida, the state changed its equipment to paper ballots allowing officials to manually audit election results – giving them another weapon against rigged elections.
For statewide voting information, click here.
For more on Campaign 2016, click here.