Monday, July 24, 2017

Voter Fraud in Palm Beach County FL

Detectives with the Florida State Attorney’s Office found clear-cut Evidence of Voter Fraud in last year’s August Election, with nearly Two Dozen People’s Signatures were Forged on Requests for Absentee Ballots. But Prosecutors are Dropping the Case. Why? They can’t find a Suspect.

In a bizarre 24-page Memo, Detectives described their efforts to get to the bottom of Allegations of Voter Fraud in the Primary Election. State Sen. Bobby Powell, Palm Beach County Commissioner Mack Bernard, and State Rep. Al Jacquet, a tight-knit trio of Rising Stars in the Democratic Party, Won their Races by generating extraordinary turnout in Absentee Ballots, and their Opponents and Voters cried Foul.

Detectives talked to 22 Voters, all in the Boundaries of Powell’s sprawling Senate District 30, and 17 of the 22 were also in Bernard and Jacquet’s Districts, who claimed their Signatures were Forged on Request Forms. Even a State Attorney’s Office Employee and her Three Family Members were Victims. The 22 Voters were on just one block of Silver Beach Road in Riviera Beach, for example, six people were sent Absentee Ballots based on Signed Paper Request Forms given to the Elections Supervisor. But when shown the Forms, each Voter said the Signature was not theirs.

But while as many as 14 Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Detectives were assigned to the Case, the Memo shows that when it came to finding a Suspect(s), the Investigation quickly fizzled. Detectives didn’t follow up on Basic Leads, didn’t Interview people who might have known about the Fraud, and waited eight months before following up with Voters who made Complaints, according to the memo. They apparently did not question Powell, Bernard or Jacquet. Detectives did identify a “person of interest,” a man who was seen on Video dropping off bundles of Absentee Ballot Request Forms at the Supervisor of Elections Office, but he was never interviewed.

County Commissioner Mack Bernard and State Rep. Al Jacquet, both Democrats running in the August Primary, took advantage of gaping holes in Florida’s Vote-by-Mail Laws to Pressure and Cajole Voters in their living rooms. One blind Voter told said that Bernard Filled out and Signed his Ballot. They also didn’t mention in the Memo that the man, Delano Allen, was Powell’s longtime Legislative Aide.

The Detectives also didn’t seek out any of the Voters interviewed by The Palm Beach Post in its March Investigation into the last August Primary Election. That story revealed that Bernard and Jacquet generated so many Absentee Votes because they stepped into Voters’ Homes and helped Fill out Voters’ Ballots. Other Voters said Bernard, Jacquet, or their Campaign Workers collected their Ballots, which the Memo states is a Felony.

Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher, also a Democrat, said she was unaware that the Investigation was finished even though she was the one who instigated it. When a Reporter offered to send her the Memo, she declined.

“We all felt that there was fraud going on.” Former County Commissioner Priscilla Taylor said.

Powell, said in an email, “At no point in the investigation was it indicated that my Senate campaign was investigated, nor was myself or my campaign ever contacted,” Powell wrote. “At this point I would respectfully request that any attempts to tie me or my campaign to anything related to this investigation be discontinued.”

The people who lost to Bernard in the August Race said they were disappointed with the Investigation and questioned its Veracity. Former County Commissioner Priscilla Taylor, who beat Bernard at the Polls but ultimately Lost because of Bernard’s edge in Absentee turnout, said the Investigation confirmed what she knew back in August: “We all felt that there was fraud going on.” But she said the Report didn’t mention the Names of other people dropping off Absentee Ballot Request Forms, which she learned about from conversations she had with Bucher last year. “It seems like a lot of things were left out,” she said. “I just don’t know how complete this investigation was.”

The Post reported this is the Third Voter Fraud Case in Palm Beach County in Two Years and none has yielded Charges.

Taylor’s Campaign Consultant, Richard Giorgio, wondered why Detectives waited so long to follow up with Voters who claimed Fraud. “That was disappointing, too, because I’m sure (with) a delay of eight or nine months, of course people aren’t going to remember the person who came to their door, which I think was ridiculous,” Giorgio said.

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