MIAMI — The Miami-Dade Office of the State's Attorney would neither confirm nor deny whether there is an open investigation into alleged voter fraud in Doral during the November general election.
NBC 6 reported about 20 people are under investigation for allegedly using an office building in Doral as their voter registration address. County election officials say voters must live at the addresses they list on their registrations. Those who provide addresses for places where they don’t live are in violation of state law.
County election officials referred all questions related to the alleged investigation to the state attorney’s office.
“We can never confirm or deny the existence of any investigation,” Lissette Valdes-Valle, a spokeswoman for the state’s attorney office, told the Florida Record.
Whenever there is an investigation, results are not released until the office considers it closed, Valdes-Valle added.
According to reports, the office building in question is Offix Solutions, a shared workplace at 7950 NW 53rd St. in Doral. The business is in an area filled with mostly commercial buildings and warehouses. There have been allegations that some voters said they lived in the same suite where that business operates. It is not known whether any other office buildings may be under suspicion.
Miami-Dade County Supervisor of Elections Christina White said it is the election office’s duty to report any inconsistencies to the proper authorities.
"Florida law states that voters must register to vote where they reside. They sign an oath stating that they are abiding by Florida law; the onus is on the voter,” White told the Florida Record. “While the department does not have investigative authority, we follow our protocol and provide the information to the proper authorities whenever we learn of any irregularities.”
Neither election nor state officials would comment as to whether an investigation would impact the most recent Doral mayoral race.
Following a runoff election Dec. 13, Juan Carlos “JC” Bermudez won the mayoral seat with 67 percent of the vote, beating incumbent Luigi Boria who garnered 33 percent. A runoff election was held because neither candidate gained 50 percent of the vote plus one during the general election Nov. 8. Bermudez is the founding mayor of Doral.
The state is no stranger to voter fraud. State officials and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigated absentee ballot fraud in the Miami mayoral election in 1997. The case led to 50 arrests and overturned the election, Valdes-Valle said. These actions led to a judge unseating Mayor Xavier Suarez and replacing him with his opponent, Joe Carollo.
To ensure the integrity of all elections, any allegations of voter fraud are taken seriously.
“Any time that the Department of Elections brings something suspicious to us, we will investigate," Valdes-Valle said. "To ensure that our elections are always clean and above suspicion, the state attorney has established that our public corruption task force oversees any questions pertaining to the integrity of elections.”