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Refusing To Back Down, Candidates Question Absentee Ballots

MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Joe Martinez has still not conceded to Mayor Carlos Gimenez.

This is despite a double-dose of proof of the incumbent mayor's victory: first in Tuesday's primary and then in Friday's certification of that victory by the elections canvassing board, the seven-member team that certified Tuesday's election results.

Martinez said he believes the mayor's huge absentee ballot win was due to fraud.

Gimenez denies any involvement by his campaign, but says shenanigans are an issue.

Said Gimenez: "Everybody knows what's been going on for years, and we've just got to stop it."

Martinez is not alone in refusing to concede Tuesday's election results.

Property Appraiser Pedro Garcia is also refusing to concede defeat.

Some might see why he is reluctant: Garcia bested Carlos Lopez-Cantera in the Election Day vote and early voting but, like Martinez, was pummeled by a strong absentee voter presence.

Garcia wants federal officials to investigate.

"This has to stop here. We have to make every election in Miami-Dade county where the winners are the winners."

Lopez-Cantera said his strategy was to target the increasing absentee voter bloc, and said he threw a boletero ("ballot broker") out of his office.

"The only person who was on the record against this type of behavior before the election was myself. Where was Mr. Garcia's indignation then?" said Lopez-Cantera.

State Representative John Patrick Julien (D-North Miami Beach), state candidate for District 107, says he has proof one operative illegally delivered about 300 ballots to the elections office.

"I have the documentation that's necessary to prove the allegations that I'm making," said Rep. Julien.

To date, only two people have been charged with possessing and submitting forged ballots.

The investigation promises to widen.

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