The marathon waits faced by thousands of voters in this month’s 2012 election should never have to happen again. That was the goal voiced by Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez on Wednesday. He convened an election advisory group to identify what went wrong during the election and what steps can be taken locally to fix them. Wednesday’s gathering by the advisory group was its second one this week. At least two more meetings are expected before the group starts coming up with remedies. “It’s just not right that any voter in Miami-Dade County has to stand in line for five hours to cast a vote,” Gimenez said.
Supervisor of Elections Penelope Townsley gave a presentation about equipment, employees, the number of voters and ballots and the problems encountered. “We will be looking at things like, ‘Do we need additional equipment to process absentee ballots quicker?’” she said.
Townsley told the panel that the election was challenging. “We received an average of 2,000 calls a day that increased to more than 7,500 calls on Election Day,” she said.
Townsley said the state Legislature’s decision to cut early voting from 14 days to eight days, and to load up the ballot with long amendments, created some delays.