Politics: Election 2012 Update


“Supervisor of Elections Penelope Townsend should be fired immediately for incompetency.”?? Frank Del Vecchio, commenting on an array of glitches – from long lines of inconvenienced voters to delays in vote tabulation – emanating from the Miami-Dade Elections Department.

“People deserve the right to vote in a timely manner”

Miami Beach Votes – Commissioners Share Their Observations

“Witnessing the diversity of the individuals, young and old, waiting under the sun for hours to vote was indeed very rewarding. Hopefully, President Obama’s victory speech calling Americans to serve their country inspires our local voters to come out again next November when we will have yet another important election in Miami Beach.”  – Miami Beach Commissioner Deede Weithorn

“Unfortunately, my voting experience at Miami Beach Fire Station #3 was long but well worth the wait as I was able to cast my votes. I waited for three hours meeting many friends and neighbors. However, I do feel strongly that the long lines which were exacerbated by the convoluted state ballot questions could have been reduced if Governor Scott had allowed for additional early voting time as in past years.

“The legislation reducing early voting cut early voting days in half and restricted voter registration drives as well. At least a federal judge overturned part of the law this year but we still had the long lines which caused some to leave and avoid voting altogether. I vow to fight this legislation so that early voting days can be extended and voter registration drives are not restricted. Miami Beach residents deserve the right to vote in a timely manner.”  – Miami Beach Commissioner Michael Gongora

 (Gongora intends to introduce a resolution at the Nov. 14 Commission meeting calling for the restoration of early voting to two weeks’ length.)


“I voted last Friday via absentee ballot, which was very convenient. I feel bad for the thousands of residents that needed to wait in 3- to 4-hour-long lines in order to exercise their right to vote. However, I am very proud of all of those who did make that extraordinary effort.

“I believe that the governor should have extended early voting and that perhaps a couple of additional voting precincts being opened would have helped as well, given the length of the ballot. Common sense would dictate that in order for an individual to read and understand each question on the ballot that it was going to take a significant amount of time, which resulted in the long wait times. This was foreseeable, yet nothing was done to mitigate the circumstances.”  – Miami Beach Commissioner Jerry Libbin

“My experience voting was pretty good. My family and I voted the first Sunday of early voting.

“I received a call [that weekend] that there were 2- to 3-hour lines at City Hall so I came and I worked with the election personnel, who were exceptionally pleasant here at City Hall.

“I tried to come around almost every day and the city clerk did the same thing to ensure that people who were coming to vote were comfortable if they had to wait in a long line, especially the older people and those with children.

“We should be a participatory government. Part of that participation is giving people the flexibility and ability to vote, and reasonably early, and without having to wait in these long lines. I didn’t like the fact that they cut [early voting] down to ten days. Extending it to a full two-week period helps facilitate that and perhaps extending it an hour, to make sure that people have the opportunity to vote.” – Miami Beach Commissioner Jorge Exposito

 (Exposito helped implement a serpentine line for voters at the Miami Beach City Hall early voting location so that they could stand in the shade. He also helped arrange for water to be handed out to voters and chairs to be provided to senior citizens who had come to vote.)

Miami-Dade County

Total ballots cast: 838,514

Voter turnout: 63.8%

Miami-Dade Results

Obama: 62%

Romney: 37%


 Nelson: 64%

Mack: 35%


Wasserman Schultz: 63%

Harrington: 35%


 Fernandez Rundle: 97%

Write In: 3%


 Margolis: 62%

Couriel: 38%


Of 14 state representative races on the ballot throughout Miami-Dade, 10 were races where there was only one candidate with no challenger.

Miami-Dade voters voted to retain all 3 state Supreme Court justices on the ballot – R. Fred Lewis, Barbara Pariente, and Peggy Quince – each by 74 to 26% margins.


Luis Garcia – former Miami Beach fire chief, commissioner, and state legislator – came up just 1,503 votes short in his attempt to unseat 14-year County Commission veteran Bruno Barreiro. There were a total of slightly more than 39,000 votes cast in the race.


Barreiro: 52%

Garcia: 48%

Mayor Matti Bower is “extremely elated with the outcome. As a long time preservationist, she pushed for this referendum. [She] is pleased that the majority of Miami Beach voters share in her view to protect the city’s preservation movement (the roots of Miami Beach renaissance).” –  A statement from the mayor’s office in response to the passage of the historic preservation ballot item.



City clerk becomes a charter officer

YES, 59 to 41%

Voter approval required to reduce Historic Preservation Board powers

YES, 61 to 39%

Change filing period requirement for candidates qualifying with petitions

YES, 58 to 42%

Limited waiver of candidate qualification fee

YES, 57 to 43%

Miami Beach Approves All 4 Ballot Issues – Commissioners React

“I believe that we have a well-educated voting public and they made terrific choices.  – Miami Beach Commissioner Jerry Libbin

“Voters have streamlined their local government by approving my proposal for the City Clerk to report directly to the City Commission. Ultimately, this will ensure that the City Clerk’s office is afforded the opportunity to function fairly without any pressure from one individual administrator.”  – Miami Beach Commissioner Deede Weithorn

“I was very pleased with the [passage of the] historic preservation [ballot question]. We are protecting what has made us the type of city we are. I thought that was an important amendment to pass.” – Miami Beach Commissioner Jorge Exposito

“I was pleased that all four of the Miami Beach ballot questions passed by wide margins. Miami Beach voters agreed that these changes are all good for our community.”  – Miami Beach Commissioner Michael Gongora


Treasure Island Commissioner

Wendy Duvall: 64%

Stuart Bloomberg: 36%

At-Large Commissioner

 Mario Garcia: 52%

Jorge Gonzalez: 48%



Changing official name from “City” to “Village”

YES, 64 to 36%

Amend city’s corporate limits

YES, 64.5 to 35.5%

Appointment and removal of city clerk

YES, 69 to 31%

Limit acquisition of real property & capital improvement projects

YES, 64 to 36%

Reduce mayor and commissioners compensation

YES, 67 to 33%

2-year prohibition on paid employment by commissioners, post-term

YES, 65 to 35%

Outside employment by city manager must be approved by Commission

YES, 73 to 27%

Expand anti-nepotism policy

YES, 71 to 29%

Filling Commission vacancies pertaining to interim vice mayor

YES, 78 to 22%

Clarify procedure for filling commission vacancy

YES, 75 to 25%

Amend emergency ordinance procedure

YES, 70 to 30%

Amend ordinance and resolution procedures

YES, 71 to 29%

Increase residency requirements for mayor and commissioners

YES, 81 to 19%

Amend petition requirement for nomination for office

YES, 67 to 33%

Increase filing fees for candidates

YES, 54 to 46%

Prohibit city employees from engaging in political activity off-duty

YES, 64 to 36%

Giving public notice of final budget meeting

NO, 53 to 47%

Require surety bonds for certain city officers and employees

YES, 79 to 21%

Require all city officers and employees to take oath of employment

YES, 86 to 14%

Require review of zoning regulations, maps, and Comprehensive Master Plan

YES, 77 to 23%

Charter violations

YES, 86 to 14%



Preamble and Citizen Bill of Rights

YES, 75 to 25%

Mandatory charter review

YES, 68 to 32%

Restriction on development

YES, 72 to 28%


Creation of new charter

YES, 77 to 23%

Amend candidate qualification period

YES, 72 to 28%

Amend candidate residency requirement

YES, 83 to 17%

Amend frequency of Council meetings

YES, 56 to 44%

Town manager surety bond requirement

NO, 62 to 38%

Amend runoff election procedure

YES, 62 to 38%

Amend initiative and referendum petitions procedure

NO, 57 to 43%


Seat 3

Harvey Busch: 43%

George “Bud” Scholl: 57%


Seat 1

Teri Holzberg: 76%

Sergio Vuguin: 24%

Seat 3

Rosa Naccarato: 31%

Howard Weinberg: 69%

Seat 5

Enbar Cohen: 62%

Ian Llobregat: 7%

Gary Pyott: 31%


Funding for public schools

FOR bonds, 69 to 31%

Term limits for commissioners

YES, 77 to 23%

Require 2/3 vote of Commission for additional land within Urban Development Boundary

YES, 68 to 32%

Creation of new municipalities

YES, 53 to 47%

Citizens’ Bill of Rights enforcement

YES, 52.5 to 47.5%

Filling a mayor or commissioner vacancy

YES, 62 to 38%

Mayoral conflicts of interest in county procurement

YES, 60 to 40%

Tennis center at Crandon Park

YES, 73 to 27%

Taxes to improve animal services programs

YES, 65 to 35%

Prohibiting public funds to companies doing business with state sponsors of terrorism

YES, 62 to 38%


APPROVED by county voters:

2 Homestead property tax discounts for disabled veterans: 64 to 36%

9 Homestead property tax exemption for surviving spouse: 61 to 39%

11 Additional homestead exemption for certain seniors: 66 to 34%

REJECTED by county voters:

1 Prohibiting Obamacare in Florida: 55 to 45%

3 State government revenue limitation: 55 to 45%

4 Property tax limitations: 50.5 to 49.5%

5 Requiring Legislature approval of state Supreme Court justices: 62 to 38%

6 Banning public funding of abortions: 55 to 45%

8 Allowing public funds to religious institutions: 50.4 to 49.6%

10 Personal property tax exemption: 52 to 48%

12 Appointment of student body president to state university board: 56 to 44%


About Charles Branham-Bailey

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