Miami-Dade state attorney candidates differ over voter fraud investigation

Katherine Fernandez Rundle wants to continue it; Rod Vereen says someone else should handle it

MIAMI - Miami Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle says she will continue her investigation into possible voter fraud, even though Rod Vereen, her opponent in the upcoming election, says someone else should do it. 

"There is an appearance of a conflict. There is an appearance of impropriety," said Vereen.

"I'm not quite sure what he's talking about other than an opportunity to talk," said Fernandez Rundle.

The investigation surrounds two women -- Matilde Martinez and Daisy Cabrerra -- who are accused of going door to door, telling seniors who to vote for, and then collecting their absentee ballots.

"You're really not permitted to handle more than two," said Rundle.

Police reportedly caught Martinez and Cabrerra with 31 absentee ballots.

Still, that's only a code violation. The state attorney said she's trying to figure out if there's something bigger at play.

"Are there more people involved? Who are they? Is this more organized?" asked Rundle. 

That's why the two suspects are not behind bars.

In fact, some political activists said the day after they were questioned by police, Martinez was back at work, talking to seniors at the Rebecca Towers in South Beach. Residents Local 10 spoke with said they weren't surprised. After all, they said many seniors are quick to trust.

Katherine Fernandez Rundle said her team is looking at every angle but they will need more than rumors and finger pointing in order to press serious charges.

"Why wouldn't these women be collecting these ballots if they weren't paid by someone else? What's in it for them?" asked Local 10's Sasha Andrade.

"Well, your right, but the 'what ifs' in our world have to be substantiated," said Rundle.

The state attorney said that if there is any conflict of interest, she will gladly have the governor appoint another department to investigate. She said, at this point, there is no evidence of that.     

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