Two former members of the Proud Boys — the far-right white nationalist extremist group that has become influential in Miami-Dade’s Republican Party — have qualified to serve as poll workers in Miami-Dade County and will be interacting with voters on Election Day.
A third former member, who actually wears an ankle monitor following an indictment for his part in the Jan. 6 protest on the nation’s Capitol, also continues to appear on the county’s poll worker database.
But the county on Monday said he was removed from the Election Day work schedule three weeks ago after Elections Supervisor Christina White learned he’d been charged with several felonies.
Gabriel Garcia is scheduled to stand trial on two felony counts and four misdemeanors for his role in the protest, when federal prosecutors say he broke into the Capitol and was the infamous voice heard begging House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to “come out and play.” Garcia has pleaded not guilty.
Garcia, a former U.S. Army captain, also recently took to a conservative-friendly social media site with a mocking boast that likely would have landed him into hot water with the Miami-Dade Department of Elections. The department requires its 4,800 poll workers at the county’s 1,048 precincts to be “impartial” in their roles. “That’s right, you heard it right, I’m working the poll. Cry some more, liberals.
Enjoy your day,” Garcia, 37, filmed himself saying inside a car while wearing a “F— Biden” ball cap. The former Proud Boy posted about his briefly held new job opportunity on “Florida’s First” Telegram channel, the Miami New Times first reported.
Another former Proud Boy poll worker, Christopher Barcenas, was seen on the Capitol steps on Jan. 6, but did not enter the building. He has posted on social media about testifying before the U.S. House Select Committee investigating the attack. Nowell Salgueiro, the third former member, was not in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021.
“The Supervisor of Elections learned about Mr. Garcia’s indictment [on Oct. 11] and made the decision not to assign him to work on Election Day,” said Suzy Trutie, Miami-Dade’s deputy supervisor of elections. Trutie said Barcenas and Salgueiro remain on the Election Day schedule because they haven’t been charged and convicted of a crime. One of the primary requirements for being a poll worker is being a registered voter. Because the state of Florida automatically purges convicted felons from voter rolls, Miami-Dade’s elections department forgoes background checks.
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