Florida and Miami-Dade County should tighten rules for voting by mail and make it easier to vote early in order to prevent fraud and plug “gaping holes” in absentee voting, a Miami-Dade grand jury has concluded. To prove their point, grand jurors made an astounding revelation: A county software vendor discovered that a clandestine, untraceable computer program submitted more than 2,500 fraudulent, “phantom” requests for voters who had not applied for absentee ballots in the August primary.
The grand jury issued 23 recommendations, from reinstating a state requirement that someone witness an absentee voter sign a ballot — thereby making it easier for law enforcement to investigate potential fraud — to urging the county to work closely with assisted-living facilities and nursing homes to deter scammers from targeting the sick and elderly.
“With several narrow victories in races in the 2012 Primary and General Elections, the general sentiment that undetected fraud is occurring is a major problem for this Grand Jury and the citizens of this community,’’ the jurors wrote. “Can the public have confidence in the election results of those close races? We are not certain they can.”