A new election fraud complaint has been filed against an absentee ballot broker in what continues to be a voting scandal plaguing the area. Temia Brinson, President and CEO of Rejoice Magazine, filed an election fraud complaint with the Florida Division of Elections against Rita Hayes, who is a paid campaign staffer collecting absentee ballots. Brinson is very involved throughout the community.
This complaint could have an impact on the campaign of Derrick Wallace for Orange County Commissioner in District 6. Hayes is a paid campaign canvasser for the Derrick Wallace campaign, as detailed in the complaint, and Brinson intends to challenge absentee ballots in the race. The complaint also names Sandra Lewis, a well-known ballot broker who has been involved with absentee fraud cases since 2004, as connected to both Hayes and Wallace (Lewis was even a witness against absentee fraud in 2004 before she converted to take over the ballot broker business herself).
The summary of violation on the election fraud complaint filed by Brinson states: “It is my complaint that Rita Hayes is in violation of election laws, as she is being paid by the Derrick Wallace campaign to collect and deliver absentee ballots for the campaign. She has been seen with a stack of absentee ballots, which is in violation of the 2 per election law.”
All of this is connected to similar allegations that led to Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer being indicted in 2005 for absentee ballot fraud after his first election. Dyer – and others – have never stopped their election tricks and pay-for-votes schemes, and a major Orlando Election Complaint was filed after the 2012 elections against Mayor Dyer and absentee ballot brokers including Sandra Lewis and her team (read the full 2012 complaint here). Florida Department of Law Enforcement Special Agent Alphonso Williams has still refused to question City Clerk Alana Brenner, Supervisor of Elections Bill Cowles, or others involved despite hundreds of pages of evidence in that case. Sandra Lewis and Ezzie Thomas even blatantly lied directly to FDLE investigators and Agent Williams in 2013 during an investigation, however, FDLE simply looked the other way. Would this happen to others in the community who lie to law enforcement?
“I want to encourage others to report violations,” Temia Brinson said. “Just as you encouraged me through your filings. We can stop corruption in this town, but it will be as a result of more and more people speaking out and taking action.”
Now it appears the lack of action from our Supervisor of Elections and FDLE law enforcement is once again impacting the integrity of our local elections. But more and more complaints are being filed with the Florida Division of Elections, the Department of Justice and other agencies in attempts to expose the ongoing activity and demand action and accountability in elections here in Orange County and Orlando. Brinson has taken a big step forward in the name of cleaning up local politics and corruption by filing this complaint and demanding an investigation.
In addition to a statement of facts, Temia Brinson also included an official grievance letter which makes clear this issue is not over and that she is serious in demanding answers and results. Brinson states she will challenge all absentee ballots cast for Wallace and openly questions the integrity and validity of the absentee ballots being cast in the current elections. From the grievance letter:
“As stated in my complaint against RITA HAYES, I have provided photos, eyewitness accounts and campaign finance report which indicates Ms. Hayes (paid Derrick Wallace campaign worker) as being in violation of the State of Florida election laws. Subsequently, I hereby challenge every absentee ballot cast for Derrick Wallace, as the validity of these ballots are in question and the uncertainty that ballots not cast for Wallace ever made it to the Supervisor of Elections. I request a full investigation into this matter.”
Brinson is calling on officials to order Rita Hayes and the Derrick Wallace campaign to cease and desist from committing further violations, to nullify all absentee ballots allegedly cast for Mr. Wallace, to issue a civil penalty and to publicly reprimand any and all violators among other actions.
This is a developing story. More details to come, and possibly more election complaints to be filed.