SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) – A Sarasota woman complained to the state in August that residents of Puerto Rico are coming to Florida to register to vote in the November election.
That would constitute election fraud, since residents of Puerto Rico are not allowed to vote in federal elections. However the state not only deep-sixed the complaint, it told 8 On Your Side such a complaint did not even exist.
Now there are more questions about who is safeguarding Florida’s election system. “They have a responsibility to protect my vote,” said former Republican Gubernatorial hopeful Elizabeth Cuevas-Neunder.
Cuevas-Neunder wonders if Florida’s Division of Elections is protecting anyone’s vote. In August she filed an elections fraud complaint. The complaint names two organizations, Boricua Vota and Mi Familia Vota. It complaint states: “These organizations have been involved in registering Puerto Ricans from the island and returning … During elections returning them back to Florida to vote, concentrating on I-4 corridor.”
Cuevas-Neunder isn’t alone making these allegations. On Wednesday Jorge Rivera, of Riverview, told 8 On Your Side relatives of his from Puerto Rico said they plan to come to Florida to vote.
“I said, ‘Well, that’s fraud; I mean you cannot do that,'” Rivera said.
Just last week 8 On Your Side revealed Mi Familia’s involvement in submitting a voter registration application for 83-year-old Marina Agosto of Hillsborough County. Agosto insists the document is fraudulent.
The Hillsborough Supervisor of Elections Office took the position that Agosto probably signed a registration application and forgot. It did not notify Mi Familia of the discrepancy until 8 On Your Side pressed for answers.
Mi Familia Executive Director Ben Monterroso told 8 On Your Side this is the first he has heard of the elections fraud complaint filed by Cuevas-Neunder. “We’re not involved in any of that. We work with people who are eligible to vote,” Monterroso said.
When 8 On Your Side requested earlier this month to review any complaints involving Mi Familia, the Florida Division of Elections said there were none.
Cuevas-Neunder’s complaint was filed two months ago. The Division of Elections has since dismissed her complaint. A letter she received stated the department needed evidence.
The Division of Elections told 8 On Your Side when it determines a complaint is legally sufficient, it refers it to the appropriate State Attorney’s Office or the statewide prosecutor. Officials with the Statewide Prosecutor’s Office said they haven’t received such a complaint since the early 1990s.
The Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office shared that it can’t even remember the last time it received a complaint from the Florida Division of Elections.
Cuevas-Neunder vows she isn’t going to stop. “When I get everything going through, I expect all these people to get fired. Because they are lazy, they’re not doing their job; it is a government job that they have,” she said.
Cuevas-Neunder said she informed Gov. Rick Scott’s office that officials need to either meet with her or she will bring litigation against the state.
Efforts to contact Borigua Vota have been unsuccessful.
If you have a problem you think needs to be investigated, call our 8 On Your Side helpline at 1-800-338-0808.