Two women--one known as “Teacher Carline” and another who branded herself as the “Queen of Absentee Ballots”—have become central figures in a court case challenging a razor-thin South Florida primary race that hinges on allegations of voter fraud.
On Monday, a Leon County circuit court judge ordered Carline Paul, who allegedly acted as a ballot broker in North Miami’s Haitian community, to fly to Tallahassee on Wednesday to testify. Noucelie Josna, the self-described absentee ballot queen also accused of tampering with votes, has apparently gone off the radar.
“She’s gone completely AWOL,” said JC Planas, an attorney representing Rep. John Patrick Julien, D-North Miami, in his challenge of his 13-vote loss to Rep. Barbara Watson, D-Miami Gardens.
In his court challenge, Julien alleges that several dead people cast absentee ballots from one North Miami nursing home, and Paul went to another to gather up absentee ballots from people who now say they never voted in the Aug. 14 primary.
Watson’s campaign paid $1,000 to an entity owned by Paul, who ran radio ads telling Haitian Creole-speaking North Miamians to “consult” with her before casting their absentee ballots, in order to “vote correctly.”
Watson in the past has denied any fraud in her campaign. Julien has said that Josna played a role in collecting fraudulent absentee ballots, and Planas believes that’s why she has not responded to a court subpoena. A private investigator has been called in to track her down.