To avoid the political headache, she probably should have recused herself last week when the investigation began on a tip from a private investigator, Joe Carrillo, who had been following Cabrera and collecting evidence for his unnamed “good government” clients. Who those clients are remains a mystery, but in one of those cases of “small town in a big city,” Carrillo and Gimenez went to school together.
On July 24, according to the arrest affidavit, Miami-Dade investigators spotted Cabrera carrying an orange shopping bag to the Miami-Dade elections department in Hialeah and submitted “a small stack of absentee ballot request forms.” Then she dropped off 19 absentee ballots at a Hialeah post office.
On July 25, investigators followed her into the nursing home where Gomez lives, and they say they overheard Cabrera tell Gomez she was there to get her signature. Later, when investigators went to speak to Gomez, they found her staring “off into space and did not respond.”
That same day Cabrera visited five more assisted-living facilities before police stopped her and found 12 absentee ballots on her. They also questioned Matilde M. Rendueles, who had been driving Cabrera around on her ballot errands.
Where will all this lead?
There are guilty folks out there who surely are lighting candles and incense, with a few Santeria chicken feathers in the mix, for protection.
But the voters should be outraged, and we should be demanding an overhaul of absentee-ballot laws from here to Tallahassee.
We have a Postal Service. The mail gets picked up six days a week. There’s absolutely no reason to have anyone come get your ballot, period.