In the recent Florida primaries, only 20 percent of Miami Dade County's 1.3 million registered voters bothered to take advantage of the convenient options to vote. In fact, tens of thousands of voters skipped voting on key local races, including judges.
We will be unable to fully achieve any major political change in necessary budget or policy matters unless we step up civic engagement. We cannot complain about traffic, cost of housing, struggling schools, or lack of job opportunities while only voting 20 percent in local primaries and 70 percent in general elections.
Having observed the automatic recount of the Judge Group 5 race between Judge Fred Seraphin and attorney Milena Abreu, I must commend the unyielding professionalism and diligence of Miami Dade Elections Department and the County Canvassing Board. For more than 42 hours, they counted every voter, from vote by mail ballots, early voting locations, and the day of elections. Though the final result did not change much, elections staff actually found a few more votes to count from provisional ballots and absentee ballot verification. Despite the cost to the taxpayers, this bodes well for confidence in our democratic process that every vote must be counted.
As we prepare for the general election, let’s honor their commitment to show up 100 percent of the time to ensure that our voices are properly recorded, rather than to sulk in our living rooms lamenting the failings of our electoral ecosystem. We should be dictating the mood of our democracy, not the other way around.
The deadline to register to vote as first time voter or to update your address or signature is Oct. 11. We only have one single, simple job and we do not have any right to demand that candidates or governmental professionals do their job when we have been woefully delinquent in our constitutional right and duty.
Marlon A. Hill,