Thursday, November 01, 2012

Early Voting Miami Dade County October 31st. By Geniusofdespair

Early Voting in Hialeah

Video Link, Early Voting in North Miami.

Heard that one voter on line, just before 7pm yesterday, at the South Dade Government Center, finished voting at 10:15 pm. Apparently there was a glitch with a machine.

I read in the Miami Herald that Penelope Townsley, the Election Supervisor, went down to North Miami and spent the day there Tuesday, probably in response to the NAACP and others complaining in an email. Her appearance must have paid off because things were running smoothly there when I went about 5:30pm, Wednesday. There was a 2 hour wait, but they were moving along and the staff seemed quick to move new people in. I like the Supervisor of Elections. I think she is hands on and not afraid to do what should be done:
"After Townsley spent all day at the North Miami site Tuesday, the city-run library provided an extra room for voters. The elections department then installed 24 more voting booths, three more optical ballot scanners, one more ballot-printing machine and another voter check-in station."

I think the Governor saddled Townsley with a monumental task by shortening early voting. I like the Election Department's early voting wait time estimate (updated hourly). It is fairly accurate from all reports I have gotten.

I didn't quite understand the popularity of early voting over absentee ballots until yesterday. A woman in North Miami said to me that people want to go somewhere and vote, they don't want to fill out a form at home.  It makes them feel that they are participating in something very important to them and others.  She is right,  filling out my absentee ballot was a bland voting experience.


Anonymous said...

The elections Dept should do a mega blow out for Friday and Saturday-,dramatically increasing the number of machines, putting up tents in the parking lots to open up more rooms, getting portable generators for power. The governor should reinstate Sunday voting Nov4 and then open the polls at 12 am on Nov 6. That's fair voting.

Gina said...

This is a manufactured crisis. 900 precincts are being shoe-horned into 20 early voting sites. Of course there will be long lines for this unnecessary process.

Instead of encouraging people to vote early, you should encourage people to vote on election day when there are 900 precinct sign-in tables,700 voting locations, and minimal waiting.

B said...

Stop being an apologist for Penny Townsley's incompetence. There was no such thing as early voting 10 years ago. Eight days of early voting is eight days more than David Leahy had to work with.

The fact remains that Townsley is not qualified to run an elections department. She was a department director's secretary who was appointed by Gimenez without a job interview or a competitive selection process.

I can only wonder how many more absentee ballot brokers are working for the elections department this election.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Rick Scott for suppressing early voting.

Anonymous said...

Thank you morons for a ridiculous and unnecessary ballot length.
Seriously three languages? 50% of the voters don't even have a high school education.
This is negligence and irresponsibility on the part of bureaucrats.

Geniusofdespair said...

Townsley is so much better than Lester Sola, she has great ideas and I find her to be responsive to voters. She is doing a good job in my view.

Anonymous said...

Absentee ballot or in-person voting, it depends on the person. Some people are interactive, like the drama, the physical presence, concrete actions, and the interpersonal experience of going to the polling place, standing in line, and going through the on-site process. For them, in-person voting is best and more meaningful. I would call them qualitative voters. For others who have little interest in those things, but who are focused primarily on participating in the democratic process from a numerical vantage point, absentee ballot voting is best. I call them quantitative voters. Once they vote, both groups generally feel like they have done their duty and feel good about the activity.

Anonymous said...

I've been voting here in Miami Dade for twenty years. Prior to early voting, I do not recall having any issues or lines longer than about 1/2 hour at my polling places. I think I used an absenttee ballot once or twice, and that was years ago for a legitimate purpose of not being in town.

This early voting stuff really needs to stop. It allows for too much hanky panky along with the absentee ballots to those with no legitimate purpose other than not wanting to go to the polls but physically in town and able to do so.

All this complaining about the lines at early voting would lead to street riots if they just stopped them and went back to voting on the actual voting day. But in saying that I'm sure I'll be called a rick scott fan (which I'm not) or something similar!

So pick your poison. Vote on voting day at your precinct. That makes less time to wait and less time for other issues like vote miscalculations which won't be caught for months or years unless someone contests the results.

Anonymous said...

Over the years there have been massive poulation growth. Given the dynamics of the election process, on election day only a finite number of people will be physically able to vote. You can look at the number of voters in the precincts, the infrastructure for voting (staffing, number of voting stations, number of scan machines, assistance for the elderly and handicapped, length of time needed to bubble in, estimated turnout rates, etc.), and come up with a good estimation of the maximum number of people who can actually vote on election day. In presidential elections, when 70% voter turnout rates can be expected, election day will be a mess. Early voting and absentee voting takes some of the pressure off of election day, and expands election day capacities so that most people can be accommodated.

Anonymous said...

To the anon who wrote:

"Over the years there have been massive poulation growth...... In presidential elections, when 70% voter turnout rates can be expected"

While I appreciate the sentiments and comments you wrote, these two issues are not quite true. The census showed a population decrease it was toyed with at the County level by a bunch of land use attorneys trying to move the UDB (long story) and I cannot recall ever having a more than 40% voter turn out in this county/state (could be wrong, will stand corrected)

Anonymous said...

Go and take a look at presidential elections.

Anonymous said...

Okay, you made me look. I'll stand corrected, it is at 70% in Dade and 75% state wide, at least in 2008.

Anonymous said...

Also, a close examination of turnout at the precinct level will reveal that many precincts had 80%- 90%+ turnout levels.