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Grand jury urges big changes in Miami's election system

A grand jury found evidence of widespread fraud in the city's November elections, including the theft of absentee ballots right out of mailboxes.

The report released Monday recommended major changes to the absentee ballot system, saying there are "so many flaws that no one solution exists."Other problems cited were the outright coercion of voters and voters completing absentee paperwork while their ballots were marked by others. Election workers also were untrained to detect fraud, and suspicious ballots were set aside but not investigated, the grand jury found.

"We must ensure that the lowest political elements do not control the reins of power," the panel wrote. "We strongly desire to send a message to our community that corruption for the sake of ease and convenience is too high a price to pay."

A criminal investigation into the elections that led to the victory of Xavier Suarez over then-Mayor Joe Carollo is ongoing.