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Hialeah ballot brokers say Miami-Dade commissioner's aide did office favors for them

Anamary Pedrosa doled out constituent services to Hialeah’s ballot brokers from county Commissioner Esteban Bovo’s district office for months. Then, when the Aug. 14 elections approached, they say she asked them for a favor of her own: to collect absentee ballots for three candidates running for the state Legislature.

“She wanted me to help with the campaigns of Manny Díaz Jr., Eddy González and [José] Oliva”, said Claribel “Beba” Ferrer, who first entered Bovo’s Hialeah office in March to ask for help notarizing a document.

For more than a decade, Ferrer, 71, has collected absentee ballots from friends and acquaintances who follow her advice in choosing candidates. She said she never planned to get involved in any campaigns this year, but agreed to help the 25-year-old Pedrosa.

“I felt bad because she had helped me and I didn’t want to say no,” said Ferrer, who turned over a half dozen ballots to Pedrosa.

Ferrer is the second ballot broker, or boletera, to say Pedrosa sought their services in support of Díaz, González and Oliva. Bovo also supported these candidates.

Email records, interviews with boleteros and other documents show how Pedrosa ingratiated herself to multiple ballot brokers who operate in Hialeah. She filled out forms seeking government financial assistance, read and translated letters and even snagged invitations for a few to a special dinner for the Republican Party of Miami-Dade County.

More from Melissa Sanchez and Enrique Flor here.