Absentee ballot favoritism shown by Supervisor of Elections

Election officials in Seminole and Martin counties showed favoritism in how they handled absentee ballot applications.  In these counties Republican officials were allowed to correct incorrectly filled out absentee ballot applications while incorrectly filled out Democratic absentee ballot applications were simply thrown away. Hundreds of Democratic absentee ballots were thrown away, while thousands of Republican ballots that could have been thrown away according to law were completed by Republican officials.  This was because the Democratic ballot applications had instructions on them that told voters to put their voter registration number on the form while the Republican applications did not contain these instructions.  So, many Republicans did not put that information on the form.

It was certainly appropriate for the Republican officials to be able to fill in the voter ID number on forms that didn't have it in this case; however, there is a problem.  Republicans were allowed to correct hundreds of applications with incorrect voter ID numbers also, while no one from any other party was given that opportunity.  In addition, no one from other political parties was notified of this and it was not discovered until after the election took place.  Secrecy and favoritism was definitely shown to the Republican Party by both Supervisors of Elections, however, as the Florida Supreme Court ruled, no fraud took place.

The Florida Supreme Court ruled in favor of the defendant in both the Martin and Seminole cases.  In the Martin County case the court did find that partisan favoritism and an opportunity for fraud in violation of Florida law was present on the part of the Supervisor of Elections, however, no action was taken.  It was stated by the court that the integrity of the ballots was not compromised due to the completion of the forms by Republican officials.

The court documents for both cases can be see here:

http://www.flcourts.org/pubinfo/election/12-12-2000/sc00-2448.pdf

http://www.flcourts.org/pubinfo/election/12-12-2000/sc00-2447.pdf

Xavier Suarez was also involved with tampering with Republican absentee ballots during the presidential election, and in fact he had previously been involved an election scandal in 1997 involving absentee ballots.  His 1997 Mayoral election was overturned due to findings that there had been tampering with absentee ballots.

Suarez was a member of the executive committee of the Miami-Dade Republican party at the time of the election.

For more on Xavier Suarez see:

http://www.thegully.com/essays/america/001113absentee_ballots.html

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