“I always tell them to open their own ballots,” she said. “I don’t want to touch them.”
Ferrer declined to say whether she was paid to pick up the ballots. But she did say that Pedrosa had contacted her to ask for help with the campaigns of state Reps. Manny Díaz Jr. and Eddy Gonzalez.
Pedrosa’s attorney, J.C. Planas, said he couldn’t comment.
Another person under investigation is Zoa Caridad Barcena, 74. Both hers and her husband’s ballots were found in the bundle of 164.
Voter María Cabezas, 83, said she gave Barcena her ballot and those of two neighbors. She said she’s known Barcena since they lived in Cuba decades ago.
Barcena has declined to comment. Like Robaina, both she and her husband have been poll workers in recent years.
Pedrosa’s own ballot is also in the bundle, as is that of a woman who appears to be her mother. It’s still unclear why Pedrosa agreed to accept the ballots and Bovo has denied knowing anything about them.
Still another voter, Raúl Pérez, offered a confusing story about his ballot and that of his nephew. Pérez, 82, first said he’d once volunteered for Bovo’s campaign. Then he said he gave them “to a female employee in an office.” He couldn’t clarify where he took the ballots.
“And so what if I gave them to somebody, what’s the problem?” he asked.
Ester Gómez, 85, said a man she knows from church dropped by to help her fill out her ballot. She said Roberto Hernández sat next to her and filled in the candidates she wanted.
“I think he works for the government,” she said.
But when a reporter called Hernandez, he denied knowing a thing about Gomez’s ballot.
“Don’t get me mixed up in this ballot mess,” he said. “I didn’t help with anything.”