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Miami-Dade to make small fixes to voting precincts, instead of drawing new ones


Miami-Dade County, whose unbalanced precincts contributed to long lines at the polls during the last presidential election, will only redraw a handful of them for midterm elections this fall.

Florida’s elections chief and the American Civil Liberties Union urged the county to redraw all of its precincts, which Miami-Dade had planned to do by 2012.

But county commissioners sided with Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s appointed elections supervisor, Penelope Townsley, who instead proposed a small number of fixes targeting the most crowded ones this year. The remaining precincts would be redrawn next year.

Full “re-precincting” before the August primary would be “operationally impossible,” Townsley said. Commissioners agreed.

“It’s going to basically create a lot of chaos and confusion in the community,” Commissioner Dennis Moss said. “And we’re going to get blamed for that.”

Under Townsley’s compromise, about 69,000 of the county’s 1.3 million registered voters would be assigned a new precinct before this fall’s midterm elections. That’s about 5 percent of voters, compared to the 55 percent that would be affected by drawing new precincts across the county.

“We are confident that this more moderate approach addresses the challenges that we experienced in the November 2012 election,” she said.

More here.