WEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Two Miami-Dade women were arrested, Friday, and are being investigated for allegedly committing voter fraud.
According to the State Attorney’s Office, investigators learned that 74-year-old Gladys Coego was illegally marking ballots after being caught by co-workers. Authorities were able to link her to a number of fraudulent votes in favor of mayoral candidate Raquel Regalado.
When interviewed by investigators, Coego said political views did not motivate her decision-making.
At the time, Coego was a temporary worker for the county elections department. She turned herself in at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center, Friday morning, and was charged with two third-degree felony counts of marking another person’s ballot.
In a second case of voter fraud, 33-year-old Tomika Curgil allegedly filled out voter registration forms in favor of United for Care, which is the campaign leading the way for legalizing medical marijuana in Florida.
The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office charged Curgil with five counts of submitting false voter registration information, also felonies. She allegedly filled out registration forms for five people without their consent. According to the State Attorney’s Office, she also submitted at least 17 forms for non-existent people, along with many forms for the deceased.
“The minute those irregularities were detected, they were detected, they were eliminated,” said Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Rundle. “The investigators were very aggressive in trying to determine whether there was any organized motive for her doing this, and apparently, there was not.”
Rundle also told 7News that the elections department was able to catch both Coego and Curgil, showing that the systems do in fact work. “The public can continue to have confidence in our electoral process,” she said.
Miami-Dade Supervisor of Elections Christina White later released a statement that read, “I want to ensure the voters of Miami-Dade County that the integrity of the electoral process is intact because our procedures work. While disappointed by these incidents, I am very proud of the safeguards the elections department has in place to prevent these fraudulent attempts, and I commend the employees who remained vigilant, just as they were trained to do.”
Coego and Curgil were taken to the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center. Coego bonded out, Friday afternoon.
7News cameras captured Coego surrounded by two men and covering her face with a sheet of paper as she walked out of jail and got into a car. She declined to comment on her charges.
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