Miami-Dade Commissioner Bruno Barreiro appears to have been pushed into an unexpected runoff early Wednesday morning after the county elections department finished counting absentee ballots that arrived on Election Day, which showed the incumbent missed winning an outright majority by 11 votes.
Late Tuesday night, it had appeared Barreiro had won reelection by a razor-thin nine votes over the majority needed to avoid a runoff. On Wednesday, an updated count showed Barreiro with 49.94 percent of the vote.
But the tally — and a runoff election — will not be certain until after the elections department counts provisional ballots — those cast by voters who didn’t have photo identification on Election Day. Provisional ballots are checked by the elections department’s canvassing board to see if the signatures match those in the department’s database.
“The only thing pending are the provisionals,” said Christina White, deputy supervisor of elections. “They won’t be added until the canvassing board meets Friday and determines if they’re good or bad.”
Barring any changes in the count, Barreiro, a 14-year incumbent, would head to a runoff against Luis Garcia, former fire chief and commissioner in Miami Beach and a former state representative, on Nov. 6. The election results will become final after the county’s elections canvassing board certifies the vote counts on all the races. The board meets at 9 a.m. on Friday.
More from Charles Rabin and Lidia Dinkova here.