South Florida

Georgia Poll Troubles Prompt South Florida Protesters to Call for Vote by Mail

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While what went wrong at the polls in Georgia this week is being investigated, many South Florida protesters said they don't want to see the same issues here.

The state official running the elections in Georgia said much of the trouble happened in and and around Atlanta, an area civil rights advocates say has many minority precincts.

Lakshmi Ruiz is with the Dream Defenders and has helped organize South Florida protests.

"The lines are disgustingly long in Georgia in areas that are primarily Black,” Ruiz said.

The Dream Defenders say with COVID-19, they are pushing registered voters this time around to stay home and mail in their ballots in the upcoming Miami-Dade and Broward elections on August 18th.

"We want folks to vote but we certainly don’t want folks to be in any danger so we are asking folks to sign up for mail-in ballot and pay attention, definitely," Ruiz said.

Elections officials in Broward and Miami Dade are also emphasizing mail-in ballots.

"We made the decision to inform our voters that if they want to participate in the upcoming primary and general election from the safety and comfort of their home they can do so by voting with a mail ballot," said Suzy Trutie, the deputy supervisor of elections in Miami Dade.

Trutie said they are going all-out to let residents know voting by mail is an option.

The vote by mail mailer request form consists of a letter, a vote by mail request form, and a prepaid return envelope, Trudy said. Miami-Dade is mailing 700,000 of the information packets.

Meanwhile, Broward County is in the process of sending out a million flyers telling people they can use a mail ballot.

"We are fully prepared, monitoring vote by mail requests every day and except a smooth primary election," Steve Vancore, with the Broward Elections Department, said in a statement. "We encourage voters to vote by mail but want everyone to recognize they have a choice."

For voters who still want to do it the old fashioned way, Miami-Dade said they’ve updated machines, and workers will have on masks with plenty of hand sanitizer available.

"We are well prepared for the upcoming primary and general elections," Trutie said. "We want to ensure that the mistakes of the past are not repeated in Miami-Dade County.”

Trutie said on the other end, they have acquired more machines to count the mail-in ballots. In both counties there are about half a million voters who already use vote by mail.

If you haven’t already gotten a flyer then you will have one soon. You need to get it back by to them by the 8th of August technically, but they would prefer you not wait until the last minute.

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