MIAMI – Despite the security at Haley Sofge Towers, a Miami-Dade public housing building, people with clipboards and Republican Party of Florida caps were in the hallways, door knocking.
It made registered NPA Armando Selva suspicious.
“They said, “We’re doing the renewals on the voter registration, would you like to renew?” Selva recalled.
Resident Juan Carlos Salazar was not suspicious at the time.
“I didn’t do anything, but they changed the party,” Salazar said, adding he noticed, “when they sent me the new registration.”
He wasn’t the only elderly resident at the public housing to come forward and say the same thing happened to them.
The realizations came after a Local 10 News report in December about an 84-year-old lifelong Miami Democrat who was shocked to receive a new, changed voter identification card.
State Senator Annette Taddeo is Vice Chair of the state’s Ethics and Elections Committee.
“People are being taken advantage of,” Taddeo said. “Lots of these people don’t speak English or are elderly.”
Taddeo’s amendment to a new election bill would double penalties for third parties who fill in others’ voter paperwork.
Back at Sofge Towers, resident Ernesto Moricon said the people in red caps visited him and his relatives at their house in Homestead.
“Somebody was over there and changed for Republican,” he said.
The Republican Party of Florida hasn’t responded to a request for comment on these alleged incidents, but they did provide a statement in December regarding Local 10 News’ story, saying:
“RPOF conducts its voter registration operation in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations. At no time was this voter registration changed without the registrant’s permission.”
The amendment floated by Taddeo was withdrawn for more conversation and issue is still in play as the big elections bill goes through the process.