Court Reinstates Carollo As Miami's Mayor
MIAMI (AllPolitics, March 11) -- A Florida appeals court has restored Joe Carollo as mayor of Miami, four months after he was declared the loser in his re-election bid.
The appeals panel ruled Wednesday that 5,000 absentee ballots cast in the Nov. 4 mayor's election should not be counted, which gives Carollo an edge over Xavier Suarez in the vote count.
Circuit Judge Thomas Wilson found last week there was evidence of absentee ballot fraud and he ordered a new election to be held in 60 days. That decision left the city without a mayor.
Carollo won a clear majority of the votes cast at polling places, but lost out to Suarez, who had previously served as mayor, when the absentee ballots were counted. Suarez had a commanding lead in absentee ballots.
Wednesday's ruling was requested by Carollo's lawyers.
"This court has made a really strong, forceful decision to combat voter fraud," said Carollo lawyer Joe Geller. "The law has been vindicated."
Carollo was elected Miami's mayor in July 1996 but left office when Suarez was sworn in last January on the basis of the November election.