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The story behind the story: How an attempt to let more people to vote early in Miami-Dade turned into a debacle

What began Sunday morning as an attempt by the Miami-Dade elections department to let more people early vote devolved into chaos and confusion only days before the nation decides its next president.

Call it the debacle in Doral.

Elections officials, overwhelmed with voters, locked the doors to its Doral headquarters and temporarily shut down the operation, angering nearly 200 voters standing in line outside — only to resume the proceedings an hour later.

On the surface, officials blamed technical equipment and a lack of staff for the shutdown. But behind the scenes, there was another issue: Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez.

The Republican had never signed off on the additional in-person absentee voting hours in the first place.

“That was counter to what I said on Friday, which was we were not going to change the game mid-stream,” he said. “I said, ‘No, there’s no way we did this.’”

But Gimenez, who is in a nonpartisan post, quickly realized it was better to let the voting go on, and the voting resumed.

The mayor said he found out early Sunday afternoon — from his daughter-in-law — about the extra voting hours.

The move had been approved by Deputy Mayor Alina Hudak at the request of Elections Supervisor Penelope Townsley. The plan was simple: Allow voters to request, fill out and return absentee ballots in person for four hours Sunday afternoon.

Early voting the Sunday before Election Day used to be allowed. But it was eliminated by the GOP-controlled state Legislature and Republican Gov. Rick Scott last year after Barack Obama used early voting to help him win Florida in 2008 — and therefore the presidency.

Gimenez said his initial reaction was to stop the last-minute Sunday voting.

But by then, around 180 people stood in line outside the elections office at 2700 NW 87th Ave. They shouted “Let us vote!” and banged on the locked glass doors. More here.

Comments

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Paul W

This next election will be interesting since the truth leaked out about the last. Know why Sarah Palin's bus tour was really canceled last year? Do you know why she stayed 30 miles away from the second debate or chose the death of Steve Jobs to announce that she's not running? Sarah Palin isn't in this race because too many people know the truth.

Search PalinsDirtyLittleSecret for the BIGGEST cover up in world history before it disappears, like democracy..

Peter Schorsch

Meme of the Day -- Sen. Mike Bennett got what he wanted: Less early voting, longer lines to vote.

wp.me/pShRp-jYE

ers

The Mayor is turning into just another politican...Not letting people vote because he's afraid of the republican cuban vote. Then having th gall to endorse and do robo calls fro Alex Diaz de la Portilla...A straight foward guy with over 800 election law violations...Looks like good governemnt ended after the election.

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