State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle and law enforcement members of the State Attorney’s Multi-Agency Public Corruption Task Force announce the arrest of two individuals who are being charged with allegedly undertaking actions which violate Florida’s voting laws.
In the course of their normal review process, the Miami-Dade Elections Department uncovered some important discrepancies in a number of new voter applications submitted to them by the organization, People United For Medical Marijuana. These discrepancies were brought to the attention of law enforcement officers working in the State Attorney’s Multi-Agency Public Corruption Task Force for investigative review. Their review uncovered evidence that 33 year old Tomika Curgil, hired as a canvasser to register voters for People United For Medical Marijuana, had allegedly submitted voter registrations to the Elections Department for a number of individuals that could not be verified as qualified voters. As a part of the investigation, police observed Ms. Curgil’s activities, noting that she had not left her residence during a day of “work” and then submitted completed (and falsified) voter registration forms for the time she had been under police observation. Among the discrepancies noted in her submitted applications was the registering of individuals who were now deceased.
74 year old Gladys Coego, hired as a temporary Election Support Specialist by the Miami-Dade Elections Department on October 24, 2016 to act as what may be termed as an “absentee ballot opener” was allegedly observed by a staff member and supervisor unlawfully marking some absentee ballots. As a normal part of their working procedures, all Election Support Specialists were prohibited from bringing any other pens or pencils into the ballot sorting room. It appeared that Ms. Coego concealed a black ink pen in her purse and brought it into the ballot sorting room. The Miami-Dade Elections Department immediately contacted members of the State Attorney’s Multi-Agency Public Corruption. Ms. Coego provided a voluntary statement to investigators and admitted that she had marked a number of absentee ballots involving the Miami-Dade County mayoral race that had been left blank, marking each ballot for candidate Raquel Regalado. She did not give an explanation for her actions. Investigators were unable to directly connect Gladys Coego to any of the organized campaigns currently active in Miami-Dade County.
Tomika Curgil has been charged with:
- 5 counts Submitting False Voter Registration Information
- 3rd Degree Felony
Gladys Coego has been charged with:
- 2 counts Marking or Designating on the Ballot of Another
- 3rd Degree Felony
“Our law enforcement effort against these election law violators was swift and resulted in an immediate arrest of the wrongdoers. The Elections Department was quick to detect and report these violations to our Task Force,” stated Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle. “Anyone who attempts to undermine the democratic process should recognize that there is an enforcement partnership between the Elections Department and our Prosecution Task Force in place to thwart such efforts and arrest those involved. Now we need to move forward with the election.”
“I want to ensure the voters of Miami-Dade County that the integrity of the electoral process is intact because our procedures work,’ stated Miami-Dade Elections Department Supervisor of Elections Christina White. “While disappointed by these incidents, I am very proud of the safeguards the Elections Department has in place to prevent these fraudulent attempts, and I commend the employees who remained vigilant just as they were trained to do.”
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