Another round of October trickery emerged Tuesday as a mysterious slate card was distributed in Miami-Dade County early voting sites in North Dade and North Miami.
The card, deceptively titled the “Miami-Dade County official 2016 Election Guide,” appeared to be pro-Democrat with two odd exceptions: it urged people to vote yes on Amendment 1, the utility-backed proposal aimed at stifling solar competition in Florida, and it urged people to vote for school board member Raquel Regalado, one of two Republican candidates in the runoff for Miami-Dade mayor.
A person wearing a Regalado T-shirt was photographed by Miami lawyer J.C. Planas handing out the slate card at the North Miami Library early voting site on Tuesday. Planas is a former state legislator and supporter of Carlos Gimenez, Regalado’s opponent.
Regalado, an opponent of Amendment 1, denied any connection to the slate cards.
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“I have not authorized a slate card. I have not printed a slate card, and I have no idea about this,’’ she told the Miami Herald. “I have taken a position against Amendment 1. It’s so crazy.”
The Miami-Dade Democratic Party, which also is opposing Amendment 1 and has taken no position on the mayoral race, said it has nothing to do with the slate card.
“This is not our slate card. Our slate card is posted on our website. www.miamidadedems.org and includes our disclaimer,” said Juan Cuba, executive director of the Miami-Dade Democratic Executive Committee. “Whoever did this is attempting to trick voters into voting for their preferred candidates. I have no idea who is printing or distributing these. Our slate card is NO on Amendment 1.”
Cuba said the party’s lawyer is considering legal options and has notified the Miami-Dade Supervisor of Elections.
Sarah Bascom, spokesperson for the Amendment 1 political committee, also distanced her campaign.
“We have never seen this. This is not something from our campaign,” she said.
The slate card first appeared Monday, according to Vimari Roman, a candidate for the Village of El Portal Council Seat 2. She wrote to opponents of Amendment 1, Floridians for Solar Choice, saying the flier “is made to confuse voters and to sway their vote.”
Whoever is behind it has probably broken the law. State law requires that any campaign matter distributed in Florida include prominent placement of a disclaimer indicating who paid for or who is behind the material.
Planas, who teaches election law at St. Thomas University Law School, says he has drafted a cease and desist letter on behalf of himself, an interested voter, and will distribute it to poll workers tomorrow.
Mary Ellen Klas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @MaryEllenKlas