In an attempt to curtail voter fraud, Miami-Dade will pre-pay return postage for absentee ballots, county commissioners agreed Tuesday.
But the move comes with a caveat: The county will only provide prepaid postage on return envelopes for countywide elections — not for stand-alone municipal elections.
That fine print means cities that hold their elections separate from the county will have to decide, one by one, whether to pre-pay the postage themselves. Those cities already have to defray the costs of their elections.
Two cities, Hialeah and Miami Lakes, have already agreed to pre-pay return postage. Others, including the county’s largest city, Miami, have yet to even consider the idea.
Miami-Dade Commissioner Jean Monestime suggested the county require all cities to pre-pay postage, but a county attorney said he would have to check if the county has that power.
The measure, put forth by Commissioner Esteban “Steve” Bovo, was approved unanimously with a voice vote. Chairman Joe Martinez and Commissioners Lynda Bell, Dennis Moss and Xavier Suarez were absent for the vote.
Bovo’s proposal came after his office was embroiled in one of two ongoing Hialeah absentee-ballot fraud investigations that resulted in the arrest of two ballot brokers, Deisy Cabrera and Sergio Robaina. They have been charged with voter fraud and with violating a county ordinance that prohibits the possession of multiple absentee ballots.