Election Round-Up 2012

How Many Registered Voters Are There in Miami-Dade?

As of October, according to Miami-Dade Elections, there are 1,281,368.

Here is a breakdown according to party (not all parties listed):

Democrats: 556,607

Republicans: 375,294

No affiliation: 331,012

Libertarians: 896

Greens: 436

Socialist Party of Florida: 1

RACE

Here is a breakdown according to race:

White: 262,755

Black: 244,175

Hispanic: 692,859

More whites are registered Democrats (112,217) than Republicans (83,293).

An overwhelming number of blacks are registered as Democrats (205,579) than Republicans (7,668).

Hispanic Republicans (270,895) outnumber Hispanic Democrats (209,752).

GENDER

White male Democrats (48,734) outnumber white male Republicans (42,987).

Hispanic male Republicans (120,177) outnumber Hispanic male Democrats (87,348).

White female Democrats (62,818) outnumber white female Republicans (39,853).

Hispanic female Republicans (148,992) outnumber Hispanic female Democrats (120,654).

AGE

Democrats outnumber Republicans in all age categories from 18 to 65.

The only age group in which Republicans outnumber Democrats is 66 and up.

How Many People Turned Out For Early Voting on Its First Day, Last Saturday, Oct.27?

County total: 25,002

(selected sites)

North Dade Regional Library: 1,796

Aventura City Hall: 1,140

Miami Beach City Hall: 901

Stephen Clark Center: 1,327

How Many People Have Early Voted to Date?

County total as of Tuesday, Oct. 30: 104,200

(selected sites)

North Dade Regional Library: 7,391

Aventura City Hall: 4,934

Miami Beach City Hall: 4,050

Stephen Clark Center: 5,770

How Many Absentee Ballots Have Been Cast So Far in Miami-Dade?

As of Tuesday: 269,488 had been mailed out; 143,612 had been returned by mail.

Musical (House) Chairs

Blame it all on redistricting:

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, formerly of District 20, now competes to become representative of District 23 which, currently, is Alcee Hasting’s district. District 23 will now be renumbered District 20. In effect, Wasserman Schultz and Hastings, each running for reelection, will trade district numbers.

David Rivera’s 25th District now becomes the 26th and Mario Diaz-Balart’s 21st now becomes the 25th. Frederica Wilson’s 17th District now becomes the 24th. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s District 18 now becomes District 27. Allen West’s District 22 gets renumbered as the 18th.

Now, are you thoroughly confused?

Beach Trades One Congresswoman For Another

Miami Beach, which for years had been part of U.S. House District 18, now becomes part of District 23. Residents there trade one congresswoman for another: Republican Ros-Lehtinen for Democrat Wassserman Schultz.

Miami Beach Voters Will Decide…

4 ballot questions:

1 : Establishing City Clerk As A Charter Officer

Shall the Charter be amended to establish the City Clerk as a Charter Officer responsible for performing designated duties, whose compensation shall be established by ordinance, and whereby: The Clerk shall be appointed and removed by, and accountable to, the City Commission instead of the City Manager; and Power to supervise and control the Clerk’s office, and to appoint and remove unclassified personnel therein, shall be transferred from the City Manager to the City Clerk?

2: Voter Approval Required to Reduce Historic Preservation Board Powers and Duties or Historic Preservation Standards

Shall Charter Section 1.06 be amended to require that any change to Chapter 118, Article II, Division 4 (“Historic Preservation Board”), or to Chapter 118, Article X, Divisions 1-4 (“Historic Preservation”), of the City Code, which reduces the powers and duties of the Board, or creates less stringent historic preservation standards or regulations, shall, before becoming effective, be approved by a majority of voters in a Citywide election?

3: Change of Filing Period for Qualifying Petitions

Shall Charter Section 6.03 be amended to change the time that a candidate qualifying via petition for City elected office must file said petition, from no later than the second day of the four-day qualifying period, to no later than noon of the 14th day prior to the first day of such qualifying period?

4: Limited Waiver of City Qualifying Fee

Shall Charter Section 6.03 be amended to provide that if County Elections Department hasn’t issued its certificate verifying the required number of valid signatures on a timely-filed qualifying petition by 5:00 p.m. on the second day of City’s qualifying period, City’s 7½% qualifying fee shall be waived if the subject candidate otherwise qualifies pursuant to Charter Section 6.03?

Surfside Voters Will Decide…

3 charter amendments:

1: Preamble and Citizens’ Bill of Rights

Shall the Town Charter be amended to add a Preamble and “Citizen’s Bill of Rights” that creates certain individual rights and guarantees those rights to citizens of Surfside?

2: Mandatory Charter Review

It is being proposed that within the first (12) twelve months after adoption of this provision, the Town shall commence charter review. Thereafter every tenth (10th) year commencing in December 2022, a charter review board shall be appointed by the Town Commission for purposes of charter review. Shall the above-described amendment be adopted?

3: General Powers; Restriction on Development

On March 16, 2004, the electorate adopted a limitation on height, density and intensity of development allowable as of that date. It is being proposed that the restriction be maintained, but the language be clarified and reinforced to reflect that density means number of units per acre, that maximum floor area ratios be properly referenced as floor area ratio and heights be defined in both stories and feet. Shall the above described amendment be adopted?

North Bay Village Voters Will Decide…

21 ballot questions:

1: Changing official name of the City to North Bay Village

The City Charter currently provides that the official name of the City is the “City of North Bay Village.” Shall the Charter be amended to delete the references to the “City of” and officially name the City “North Bay Village” and to further change all references in the Charter and the Code from “City” to “Village?”

2: Corporate limits of the City

The City Charter currently provides that the jurisdiction of the City shall now and from “time to time hereafter” fall within the City’s specified boundaries. Shall the Charter be amended to replace “time to time hereafter” with “in the future?”

3: Appointment and removal of City Clerk

The City Charter currently provides for the position of a City Clerk and further provides that the City Clerk shall be appointed and removed by the City Commission. Shall the Charter be corrected for consistency to specify that under the City Commission’s powers that appointment, retention or removal of the City Clerk falls within the purview of the City Commission?

4: Limitations on acquisition of real property and capital improvement projects

The City Charter currently limits the acquisition of real property or expenditures for capital improvement projects to 20 percent of the “annual fiscal budget” or “annual budget” of the City without a referendum. Shall the Charter be amended to specify that the 20 percent spending limitation for acquisition of real property or capital improvement projects be based upon the City’s current annual “total operating budget?”

5: Reduction of Mayor and City Commissioners compensation

The City Charter currently authorizes an annual adjustment to the Mayor and City Commissioners compensation based upon the Consumer Price Index. Shall the Charter be amended to delete the annual Consumer Price Index adjustment and freeze the Mayor’s compensation at $7,800.00 and the Commissioners compensation at $6,300.00 starting with the officials elected in the November 2012 election?

6: Two year prohibition on paid employment of City Commissioners post term

The City Charter currently prohibits sitting City Commissioners from serving in a paid City position during their term of office. Shall the Charter be amended to prohibit a Mayor or Commissioner from serving a paid City position for 2 years after the date of expiration of their term?

7: Outside employment by the City Manager

Shall the Charter be amended to include a requirement that outside employment by the City Manager shall be approved by the City Commission prior to commencement?

8: Expanding existing anti-nepotism policy

The City Charter currently prohibits employment of relatives of elected or appointed city officials (department heads and up) related up to the second degree of consanguinity (related by blood). Shall the Charter be amended to expand the existing anti-nepotism policy to include a prohibition of the employment of relatives of elected or appointed city officials (department heads and up) up to the second degree of infinity (related by marriage)?

9: Filling of Vacancies on the Commission pertaining to Interim Vice Mayor

The City Charter currently provides that an interim Mayor and Vice Mayor shall serve until the newly elected or appointed Mayor or Vice Mayor is sworn into office. Shall the Charter be amended to clarify that the word “interim” also applies to the position of the Vice Mayor as well as the Mayor?

10: Clarification of procedures for filling of Commission vacancy and extraordinary vacancy

The City Charter currently provides that the filling of a vacancy for City Commission shall be pursuant to the procedures “set forth above.” Shall the Charter be amended to provide the procedures for filling of a vacancy are those specified in the Charter, and that for the filling of an extraordinary vacancy, the Commission shall call a special election in the same manner as set forth for filling a Commission vacancy?

11: Procedure for adoption of emergency ordinances

The City Charter currently provides for an emergency ordinance to be adopted by at least three affirmative votes. Shall the Charter be amended to provide that an emergency ordinance shall be adopted by at least four affirmative votes consistent with state law?

12: Procedures for adoption ordinances and resolutions

The City Charter currently provides for the submission of all written information for proposed ordinances or resolutions within 48 hours of a City Commission meeting. Shall the Charter be amended to require the submission of all written information on proposed ordinances or resolutions 3 business days prior to the City Commission meeting?

13: Increase Residency Requirements for Mayor and Commissioners from six months to one year

The City Charter currently requires a six-month City residency for a candidate for the office of Mayor and Commissioner-at-large and a six-month residency on their particular island for a candidate for the Harbour Island, North Bay Island and Treasure Island Commissioner seats. Shall the Charter be amended to increase the residency requirement from six months to one year for candidates for the office of the Mayor and all Commission seats?

14: Nomination for office of Commissioners and Mayor by petition

The City Charter currently provides that a candidate for office of Commissioner or Mayor may qualify for candidacy by petition. Shall the Charter be amended to specify that the petition shall be in a form provided by the City Clerk?

15: Increase of filing fee for candidates for office of Commissioner and Mayor

The City Charter currently provides for a filing fee of $100.00 for a candidate for the office of Commissioner or Mayor. Shall the Charter be amended to increase the filing fee to $250.00 for the office of the Mayor and all Commissioners?

16: City employees soliciting votes or engaging in political activity while off duty

The City Charter currently prohibits City employees from soliciting votes or engaging in political activity while on duty. Shall the Charter be amended to prohibit a City employee while off duty from soliciting votes or engaging in political activity while wearing a City uniform or identification or using his or her official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with an election or a nomination of office or coercing or influencing another person’s vote?

17: Notice of final budget meeting

The City Charter currently provides that if the budget includes a tax increase, the City shall endeavor to send a notice of the date of the final budget meeting to each property owner and to those who submit a request for the notice. Shall the Charter be amended to delete this requirement as state law requires the County to provide the same information to each property owner in the TRIM (Truth in Millage) notice?

18: Bonds of officers and employees

The City Charter currently requires the posting of a surety bond for officers or employees of the City, but does not specify which positions are subject to this requirement. Shall the Charter be amended to specify that any officers or employees who have check signing authority or access to City accounts shall post a bond?

19: Oath of office/employment

The City Charter currently requires every officer and employee to take an oath of office. Shall the Charter be amended to include in the oath of office that the officer or employee is a legal resident of the State of Florida and will obey the laws of the United States, the State of Florida and observe the provisions of the Charter and Ordinances of the City?

20: Review of zoning regulations, zoning district maps, and comprehensive master plan

Shall the Charter be amended to include a requirement that the Planning and Zoning Board continuously review the City’s zoning regulations, comprehensive master plan and zoning district maps and offer recommendations to the City Commission at maximum intervals of five years commencing in 2013?

21: Charter violations

Shall the Charter be amended to include a provision that City officials and employees shall follow the provisions of the Charter?

Bay Harbor Islands Voters Will Decide…

7 charter amendments:

1: Creation of New Charter

It has been proposed that the Town Charter be comprehensively amended 1) for style, clarity and consistency; 2) to conform and update it with State law; 3) to delete provisions more appropriately covered by ordinance; 4) to better describe the responsibilities, authority and qualifications of Town officers; and 5) to clarify procedures for filling Council vacancies.

2: Candidate Qualification Period

The Charter currently provides that the qualifying period for candidates for the office of Councilmember shall occur not less than 20 days nor more than 40 days prior to the election date. It has been proposed that the Charter be amended to provide that the qualifying period occur not less than 30 days nor more than 40 days prior to the election date.

3: Candidate Residency and Voter Registration Requirement

The Charter currently provides that candidates for the office of Councilmember must reside and be registered electors of the Town for six months prior to the election. It has been proposed that the Charter be amended to provide that candidates for the office of Councilmember must reside and be qualified electors of the Town for 12 months prior to the election.

4: Frequency of Council Meetings

The Charter currently provides that the Council must meet not less than once each month. It has been proposed that the Charter be amended to provide that the Council meet not less than ten times each year.

5: Town Manager Surety Bond Requirement

The Charter currently requires that the Town Manager furnish a surety bond to the Town. It has been proposed that the Charter be amended to eliminate the requirement that the Town Manager post a surety bond.

6: Runoff Election Procedure

The Charter currently requires the Town conduct a runoff within 7 days of an election for the office of Councilmember that results in a tie. It has been proposed that the Charter be amended to provide that the Town conduct a runoff within 30 days of an election for the office of Councilmember that results in a tie.

7: Initiative and Referendum Procedure

The Charter currently provides that referendum petitions must be signed by qualified electors of the Town in a number equal to at least twenty percent of the registered voters. It has been proposed that the Charter be amended to require that initiative and referendum petitions be signed by not less than ten percent of the registered voters.

Sunny Isles Beach Voters Will Decide…

1 City Commission race:

Seat 3: (Southern residential area)  Harvey Busch vs. George “Bud” Scholl (incumbent)

Aventura Voters Will Decide….

3 Commission seats:

Seat 1: Teri Holzberg vs. Sergio Vuguin

Seat 3: Rosa Naccarato vs. Howard Weinberg

Seat 5: Enbar Cohen vs. Ian Llobregat vs. Gary Pyott

FL. Senate District 35

Gwen Margolis (D)

Age: 78; home: Miami

Incumbent; veteran state and local legislator

“Florida has been hit hard by the global economic recession. Today, more than ever before, there is a need for experienced leadership in Tallahassee. Our community needs a trusted leader who has successfully led the state out of previous budgetary crises.

“I have long supported ethics legislation, government in the sunshine and the rights of women and the elderly and know that I can make a difference for the people of Florida and District 35.”

John Daniel Couriel (R)

Age: 34; home: Miami Beach

Challenger; attorney

“It’s a critical time – for our state and for our country. In the next few years, people in government will make fateful choices about what economic opportunity will look like in this country for generations to come. Will we continue to be the place where entrepreneurs the world over want to start their businesses, or will we choose a path of statism, overregulation, and decline? I believe that Florida’s future prosperity demands decisive action.

“Urgently, we need to attract 21st Century businesses to our state, build a globally competitive workforce, and ensure that we remain a place where people want to visit and live….I’m convinced our district needs an energetic voice in the Senate, more creative approaches to our problems, and vision and energy from leaders outside the old political establishment.”

Miami-Dade County Commission District 5

Bruno Barreiro

Age: 46

Incumbent; county commissioner since 1998

Campaign website declares, “His perseverance to always help and serve the community has been evident first as a State Representative and now as a Miami-Dade County Commissioner,” but lacks mention of any issues, policy positions, or accomplishments.

Luis Garcia

Age: 66

Challenger; former state legislator and Miami Beach commissioner

Positions: Require a public vote for any project or contract substantially impacting the budget; e.g. Marlins Stadium. Require county elections to be held concurrently with federal and state elections. Repeal county restrictions limiting citizens access to the petition process.

Impose term limits on County Commission seats (2 four-year terms). Bar commissioners from outside employment while elected. Bar commissioners from lobbying activities for ten years after leaving office. Implement reasonable salary for full-time commissioners.

Reduce inflated salaries for top tier county administrators. Reduce the number of commissioners from 13 to 9, including two at-large. Eliminate commissioners’ discretionary funds. Eliminate frivolous travel by county officials.

Secure future funding for Jackson Memorial Hospital. Improve connectivity of county transportation. Improve district aesthetics through garbage and graffiti removal. Review and eliminate any unjust county impact fees. Stop the proliferation of outdoor advertisements.

U.S. House District 23

Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D)

Age: 46; home: Weston

Incumbent; member of Congress since 2005

Campaign literature: “From her work to fight insurance company abuses to her fight to create jobs, [she] believes we can grow our economy without balancing the budget on the backs of middle-class families.”

The candidate: “Beating breast cancer strengthened my resolve to make sure insurance companies can drop or deny coverage to anyone just to make a buck. I was fortunate. I had good insurance and great doctors. Today, I’m a survivor. But like every breast cancer survivor, I now have a pre-existing condition.”

Karen Harrington (R)

Age: 48; home: Davie

Challenger; Rickey’s Sports Bar and Grill co-owner

Campaign website: “’ObamaCare’ must be systematically defunded and ultimately repealed. Our national health care system is in need of reform, but a government takeover of the health care and health insurance industries is not reform. ObamaCare not only limits our freedoms and increases the cost of health care and insurance, it will also reduce the number of healthcare providers that actually provide the vital services we need to expand access to.

“Our system needs dynamic free market solutions that foster inter-state competition amongst insurance carriers. It is essential that we eliminate Medicare/Medicaid fraud, reform medical liability insurance, and take measures that increase competition amongst both healthcare providers and insurance carriers that will drive down the cost of healthcare.”

Ilya Katz (No party affiliation)

Age: 77; home: Miami

Challenger; writer, blogger, author of Obamasutra Illustrated

From his blog: “Debbie Wasserman Schultz is a sweet person; she attracts bees and they bring her honey-money. I am a boiling pot; I attract no bees.”

“Debbie Wasserman Schultz, your tongue is your worst enemy. My tongue is also your worst enemy.”

“Obama carries the flag of socialism and Debbie Wasserman Schultz walks behind him beating the drum to attract attention.”

 “Obama’s positions are described in Obamasutra but Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s positions cannot be described even in Kamasutra.”

“Voter, if you want to be smart, and see things clearly, take off your rose-colored glasses.”

She Said, She Said

Two political combatants in one local race took to social media this week to get out their messages, each to her respective supporters. A sampling of their tweets:

Debbie Wasserman Schultz is Dangerous!  – Karen Harrington ?@Karen4Congress, (Friday)

Fantastic day early voting in Aventura & Miami Beach. Great to be so warmly welcomed by voters new to my district.  – Debbie Wasserman Schultz ?@DWStweets (Monday)

Karen Harrington’s campaign is only 9 days from DEFEATING Debbie Wasserman Schultz – Harrington ?@Karen4Congress, (Sunday)

Great to meet with homeowners association presidents and board members from across Miami Beach tonight.  – Wasserman Schultz ?@DWStweets (Tuesday)

Voter ID Card, Check. Sleeping Bag, Check…

NBC6 reported a Miami Beach couple camped out in front of City Hall last Friday night to “raise awareness” for early voting and to be among the first people to vote once early voting began there the following morning.

Dave Doebler and Dara Schoenwald came toting folding chairs and sleeping bags.

“We actually enjoy this, so this is fun for us,” Doebler told NBC6. “But we’re also trying to send a broader message and sometimes you have to have a little discomfort to make your case and make your point.”

The couple camped out before the 2008 election, too.

One Voter Explains It Thus

“And why do we have such a long ballot at a time of such an important national election? Because, as part of their insidious voter suppression campaign, the Republican gang in Tallahassee made sure that it was a confusing ballot that would take perhaps 30 minutes or more to fill out so as many voters as possible would be discouraged from persevering in line at the polling locations. Please prove them wrong. Show them that you will stand in line as long as it takes to vote. Remember, if you are already in line at closing time at the polling location, they must still let you vote, even if it takes until midnight.” – posted on herald.com

Early Voting, Day 1 – What People Were Saying

About 100 people in line for #EarlyVoting at Miami Beach City Hall this morning.  – Alfred Spellman, tweeting ?@AlfredSpellman

I’m the only brother early voting Miami Beach at this hour… – Divine Now A77ah, tweeting ?@dmpatton

Miami Beach scene ludicrous. As intended. – Michael Grunwald, tweeting ?@MikeGrunwald

At times, yesterday’s wait at the Miami Beach City Hall early voting polling station lasted over two hours. Reports today indicated far less. – Charles Urstadt, on Miami Beach Outlook blog, (Sunday)

Just finished early voting in Miami Beach. About an hour in line, but everyone was in a good mood so it flew by. – Trisha Posner, on Facebook, (Monday)

Talking to folks doing voter protection in FL. They’re describing 30 min lines for early voting in Miami Beach, 8 hour lines in north Miami. – ashindi, tweeting ?@ashindi, (Wednesday)

The Scene in Aventura

Letting my voice be heard #early voting (@ Voting Place at Aventura Government Center (2nd Floor Commission Area)). – Kyra, tweeting ?@KyraCW, (Saturday)

Only 3 hours wait for voting in Aventura love early voting :)   – ER Gagit, tweeting ?@ergagit, (Sat.)

After 4 hrs of waiting in line in the wind & sun….I’m proud to say that I voted! – Tiara Bebbs, tweeting ?@T_Bebbs, (Sat.)

@ voting poll in aventura line is rapping around building and it’s windy but I’m not leaving til I vote. – Dj Big Ralph, tweeting ?@djbigralph, (Sat.)

People at the front of the line about 2:30pm said they had waited about 3 hours. The line doubled back behind the building and made a U near the door. You are looking at two lines, one is against the building. – Eye on Miami blog

It has morphed into a big social event. A chance to see neighbors, and friends, meet new people, network for business, even get dates. There is a lot more going on than just voting. – Anonymous, posting on Eye on Miami blog, (Sunday)

Aventura, FL early voting site is slammed with voters, no parking left. 1hr wait. Seniors fainting. – Rudi Navarra, tweeting ?@LatinoSublime, (Monday)

#Voting in #aventura. Lines R 1.5hrs long. Woke up @ 5:30 am …. This is what “early” vote means. – Re-Word, tweeting ?@Hobbylology, (Wednesday)

They’re serving water at the Aventura early voting site. – FeFe, tweeting ?@JustFe_PR, (Wed.)

Theme park waits got nothing on aventura early voting. – Adrian Sierram, tweeting ?@Adrian_S29, (Wed.)

About Charles Branham-Bailey

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