The Biscayne Times

Aug 07th
You May Have Been Purged PDF Print E-mail
Written by Nancy Lee, BT Contributor   
June 2020

Pix_EyeonMiami_6-20The latest election news for Miami-Dade residents

The latest election news for Miami-Dade residents

IPix_EyeonMiami_6-20f, by the time you’re reading this, 45 has not died of COVID-19 or from complications from what he calls the “what have you got to lose?” drug, it looks like he’ll be the Republican candidate (sigh).

You might think the Democrats have an easy win. Think again. I admit it, we have a weak candidate. The sound-bite debates knocked out better choices, and now, having shot themselves in the foot, Democrats need every single registered voter they can find.

A good omen: As of May 24, ex-felons are back on track to vote, thanks to federal Judge Robert Hinkle, who ruled that the law requiring them to pay court costs was an unconstitutional “pay-to-vote system.” Republicans desperately tried to bar almost one million ex-felons from voting, and now this could be a game changer. Dems must get to work registering them.

Another potential break for Democrats in Miami-Dade County: the League of Women Voters lobbied the chair of the county commission to approve sending one vote-by-mail request form to all households that didn’t already request one. Christina White, our supervisor of elections, argued for a notice with information, not an actual ballot request form with postage, but Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava said at the meeting: If you’re going to send the notice, why not include an actual ballot request? All the county commissioners agreed.

These vote-by-mail request forms will be going out this month for the August 18 primary. If you didn’t request a vote-by-mail form your household doesn’t get one, you might have been purged from the voter rolls, or you might be “inactive.”

I contacted the Miami-Dade County Elections Department about the law that throws you off the voting rolls. It’s mindboggling. Every odd-numbered year, the supervisor of elections must “designate as inactive all voters who have been sent an address confirmation final notice and who have not returned the postage prepaid, preaddressed return form within 30 days or for which the final notice has been returned as undeliverable.” Once you’re inactive and they don’t hear from you, you’ll be purged.

I checked the 2019 voter purge. Of the 42,699 removed, 7705 were Republicans and an alarming 19,515 were Democrats.

Then I did a public records request of the purge list to investigate. I called the Democratic Party to get the voters’ phone numbers to match to my list. They didn’t have any. They matched their list to the Elections Department without these 19,515 people. I did find some on Facebook who appear to still be in the Miami area.

I’m alarmed, but apparently no one else is. I tried to get somewhere with the Democratic Party, but I’ve finally given up. If you’re a Democrat, you know they march to a different drummer, and it ain’t one who can hold a beat.

The vote-by-mail ballots will start going out July 9 for the August 18 primary. The primary is actually the election for our county commission. If anyone gets over 50 percent, they’re automatically elected in August.

Why should you care about the county commission elections? You pay more of your property taxes to them than you pay to the city where you live. County commissioners protect the onslaught of development from crossing the Urban Development Boundary. They run our airport, seaport, and mass transportation.

This is a highly unusual election -- no door-to-door or glad-handing at free lunch programs as part of the campaign arsenal. Money will be more critical than ever, as mailings and TV ads will be the norm.

It’s also unusual because term limits have finally kicked in, and we have scads of candidates in odd-numbered districts. Before term limits, an incumbent county commissioner had a lock on the election because of lobbyist money. Only Daniella Levine Cava has won against an incumbent, the first time since Katy Sorenson did it in 1994.

District 1 is the race to watch. Trevon Martin’s mom, Sybrina Fulton, has caught up on funds. She has the support of actual people -- not corporations. In December, with 2043 small donors, she garnered $45,330. That is a shitload of small donors. In comparison, challenger Oliver Gilbert III raised almost the same amount in April, but he had only 63 donors. Her average was $20 per donor; his was a bit less than $1000.

If I were to vote in all Districts, it’d look like this: District 1: Fulton. District 3: Gepsie Metellus. District 5: Eileen Higgins. District 7: Cindy Lerner. District 9: Marlon Hill. District 11: Robert Asencio. District 13: None -- it’s a spawning ground for bad candidates.

For mayor, I’ll vote for Daniella Levine Cava. For her vacated seat in District 8, I would not vote for the litigious John Dubois, a Trump wannabe who once sued me. Please vote for Danielle Cohen Higgins in District 8.


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