Two Miami-Dade women landed in jail Friday for voter fraud crimes – one a temporary employee of the county elections department.
Gladys Coego, 74, an unaffiliated voter and temporary Miami-Dade county elections worker, had the job of opening envelopes of the mail-in ballots. She was caught illegally marking on the ballots if a voter had left the county mayoral race selection blank.
The Miami Herald reported that Coego was supposed to take the ballots out of the envelopes and check for any paper tears before giving them to someone else to run through the scanner.
Workers are prohibited from bringing any pens or pencils into the ballot sorting room, but Coego had slipped a black pen into her purse. A co-worker saw her marking on the ballots and reported her.
Coego turned herself in to the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center Friday morning. She was charged with two felony counts of marking someone else’s ballot, and bond was set at $10,000.
Also arrested Friday morning was Tomika Curgil, 33, who was charged with illegally filling out voter registration forms for people without their consent – and at least 17 for people who don’t even exist – working on behalf of United For Care, a campaign to legalize medical marijuana.
The elections department because suspicious about all the voter registration forms Curgil turned in, as several appeared to have been completed and signed by the same person. Upon checking the names, officials discovered several of the new voters were deceased.
Investigators watched Curgil on October 18, which was the last day to register to vote. They never saw her sign up a single person, but the next day, she submitted 22 registration forms. Some of those people were already registered voters, and five of them had who were contacted said they had no idea a registration form was being submitted with their name on it.
Curgil, a registered Democrat, was arrested at her home in Liberty City Friday morning, charged with five felony counts of submitting false voter registration forms, and slapped with a $125,000 bond.
From the Miami Herald:
“Our law enforcement effort against these election law violators was swift and resulted in an immediate arrest of the wrongdoers,” Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernández Rundle, a Democrat, said in a statement. “The elections department was quick to detect and report these violations to our task force.
“Anyone who attempts to undermine the democratic process should recognize that there is an enforcement partnership between the elections department and our prosecution task force in place to thwart such efforts and arrest those involved. Now we need to move forward with the election.”
Ballots being printed for Miami-Dade County, in preparation for the November 8 election:
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