Miami-Dade’s mayor and elections supervisor asked Florida’s secretary of state on Tuesday to relay three requests to Tallahassee to try to fix last month’s elections woes:
Extend the number of early-voting days. Allow early-voting sites to open at locations other than public libraries and city halls. And cap the number of words in state constitutional amendments on the ballot.
Those changes to state law, Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Elections Supervisor Penelope Townsley said, could help prevent some of the embarrassing problems that plagued the Nov. 6 presidential election, in which some Miami-Dade voters waited in line for seven hours and wrangled with a 10- to 12-page ballot.
“We can’t have any more ‘one-size-fits-all’ elections,” Gimenez said.
But will the pleas from the state’s largest county be heard in Florida’s Capitol?
Secretary of State Ken Detzner said he would carry Miami-Dade’s message to Gov. Rick Scott, who tasked the state’s chief elections officer with visiting five problematic counties and drafting recommendations for improvement. Those suggestions, however, would then require the approval of state legislators who wrote the elections laws in the first place.
Separately, Gimenez has convened a local advisory group to make its own recommendations to the county and the state. The group, which is still awaiting the elections department’s after-action report, meets for the second time Friday.
“There are some things that we’re going to need from the state, but a lot of the things that happened can be rectified here in Miami-Dade County,” Gimenez told reporters Tuesday.