While the referendum election was not fully realized, Im proud that we crafted an agreement that made sure our voters had the final say on the stadium issue, he said. Just as important, this referendum did not cost our taxpayers any money in fact, we estimate that there will be over $1 million remaining that can be used to meet other County needs.
More than 60,000 voters had cast ballots by the time the referendum was abruptly called off. Of those, the elections department only tabulated the early votes and the absentee ballots that had been opened and verified up to that point.
About 42 percent of the electorate was Democratic and 39 percent Republican. The numbers indicate a disproportionately high turnout rate for Republicans, who account for 29 percent of the nearly 1.3 million registered voters in Miami-Dade.
GOP turnout was so high, in part, because of Republican familiarity with casting absentee ballots by mail, a type of voting the GOP dominates. Also, many Republicans opposed the idea of raising taxes.
The Miami-Dade GOP took a vote condemning the corporate welfare, and a majority of the Republican legislators from the county opposed the stadium deal in the Florida House of Representatives, which refused to take up the bill at the end of session.
Though the Dolphins blamed House Speaker Will Weatherford for scuttling the bill, the proposal actually stalled before it got to the House floor because of opposition from Miami-Dade Republicans as well as the House budget chief, Seth McKeel, who refused to agenda it for a vote late in the legislative session.
From that point on, the bill died a slow death and encountered increasingly difficult procedural hurdles in the Legislatures waning days of session. The measure officially expired on the final day of session, May 3.
But even if the measure had made the ballot, Tuesdays results indicated county voters were opposed regardless of race or party affiliation. Prior to the sessions official start, a survey by Florida International University political science professor Dario Moreno indicated super-majority opposition.
The Dolphins political team and management responded to Morenos poll by attacking him and his numbers. They insisted their internal polls, which they never released, showed a majority of voters supporting the proposal.
For Miami Democrat Ruby Allen, 63, there was little the Dolphins could say to change her mind.
It was all just a lie, just a lie, she said of their proposal, noting Rosss personal wealth. He has the money. He should build it himself. He doesnt need the taxpayer money.