The readers’ forum

Don’t delay redrawing voters’ precincts

 

Whether or not to align the voting precincts with population shifts in Miami-Dade County should not be up for debate. Two years ago, based on Census data and voter-registration records, the need to modify precinct assignments and locations was apparent. The unfortunate decision to delay the reprecincting in 2012 led to massive lines, voter frustration and an unknown number of walk-offs during the presidential election. The disastrous results in Miami-Dade County became part of an extensive national discussion.

There is no need for further discussion. The assignment of precincts needs to be implemented. As we prepare for an important statewide election this year, Miami-Dade County residents should be assured that their assigned voting precinct will be properly organized.

Each precinct should be aligned to accommodate a reasonable distribution of registered voters, as stated in the Feb. 3 editorial, On second thought.

The county’s supervisor of elections is deploying new technology to ease the voter check-in process. Good. But, checking in is only one factor affecting the time it takes to vote.

The Presidential Commission on Election Administration declared that no citizen should have to wait more than 30 minutes to vote. To reduce wait times, the precincts must be realigned.

Secretary of State Ken Detzner has encouraged every elections supervisor to “review their precincts from the 2012 general election and determine whether the number used, their locations and any combining of precincts created longer than acceptable voting lines. If so, supervisors of elections should reprecinct their voting locations.” There is overwhelming evidence of longer than acceptable voting lines all over Miami-Dade County. There is not one good reason to delay this process.

Adjusting the precincts is done for the convenience of the citizens in order to ensure a positive voting experience. For most residents, a new voting precinct will be closer to home and likely more convenient.

The location of the precinct does not change the ballot choices; it merely allows the voter to make their choices without waiting in line for hours.

We encourage Miami-Dade County officials to put the interest of the citizens first and get moving.

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