A host of proposed reforms to Miami-Dade’s much-maligned absentee ballot system got a lukewarm reception at County Hall on Thursday, with commissioners postponing votes on substantive measures while voting to implement a pair of mostly symbolic gestures.
Commissioner Barbara Jordan used a procedural maneuver to block a vote on whether the county should provide pre-paid postage envelopes for voters who request absentee ballots.
Jordan’s move delayed a vote on the proposal sponsored by Commissioner Esteban “Steve” Bovo, and on a similar proposal by the town of Miami Lakes, which had asked the county to offer the pre-paid envelopers to its voters.
But after the meeting, Mayor Carlos Gimenez said if commissioners shelve the Bovo plan permanently, he will look for a way to get it done anyway.
Commissioners unanimously passed resolutions urging state lawmakers to keep secret the names of those requesting absentee ballots and to require voters to provide a reason for requesting an absentee ballot. They also signed off on a measure supporting a task force created by the Miami-Dade state attorney’s office to look into absentee-ballot fraud, which brought a chuckle from Chairman Joe Martinez.
“They’re not going to do a damn thing,” said Martinez, who is contesting the Aug. 14 mayoral election he lost to Gimenez.