Whatever happens Tuesday when voters are to pick Miami-Dade’s next mayor and two commissioners — plus various proposed county charter changes — will you be able to say that your choices were considered because you voted?
Too few registered voters can say that today. Yet they will be the first to gripe about the winners in the May 24 special election. They’ll complain that county government is broken, and that they don’t vote because the fix is in.
…Early voting has been anemic even though more people came out to vote to recall former Mayor Carlos Alvarez in March — 208,448 cast ballots with almost nine-in-10 for recall — than went to vote in August 2008 for his second term.
Worse yet, a new law signed by Gov. Rick Scott Thursday puts the brakes on early voting starting now. It means there will be no early voting sites open this Sunday — unless a judge rules otherwise. That was up in the air as of this writing.
Former state Rep. Marcelo Llorente, a candidate for mayor, was right to file a lawsuit to challenge the cancelled Sunday election. The Miami-Dade County elections department had little choice to close down. Miami-Dade County Supervisor of Elections Lester Sola has to follow the new state law, even though the County Commission approved early voting through Sunday.
This new elections law has more political subplots than a murder mystery. Most new laws take effect on July 1, so why was this law drafted to take effect by this Saturday or as soon as the governor signed it, whichever came first? Another plot twist: Gov. Scott delayed signing the law until a local election in Jacksonville had ended and all votes were counted, including a race for mayor. Apparently Jacksonville, a strong base of support for Republicans, gets a wink and nod, while Miami-Dade, an up for grabs county during presidential election years, gets the snub.
Full Editorial: Tallahassee meddling in voting rights – Editorials – MiamiHerald.com.