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Federal judge rules write-ins OK in Miami-Dade state attorney's race; only Dems to vote in primary

Miami-Dade’s primary election for state attorney will remain open to only Democrats, a federal judge ruled Wednesday — meaning the selection of the county’s top law enforcement officer will likely be decided by 525,890 voters.

U.S. Judge William Zloch issued his ruling Wednesday in a lawsuit filed by Republican and independent voters who said they were being disenfranchised by the presence of two “gimmick” write-in candidates in the general election.

The “write-in” candidates for Miami-Dade state attorney, lawyers Michele Samaroo and T. Omar Malone, won’t appear on any ballots this fall and voters who want to select them will need to write their names into a blank space.

But Zloch said because Samaroo and Malone qualified as “candidates” under state law, they should be counted as opposition.

“The court will not consult a crystal ball to determine when and whether a given write-in candidate constitutes ‘real’ or mere illusory opposition,” Zloch wrote, adding that “they could” win even if was generally unlikely.

“The court today will not declare that these candidacies are futile,” Zloch wrote.

More from David Ovalle here.