Last week we asked for your help building a better voter guide by answering one simple question: What do you want to know about voting and the candidates in the Aug. 28 local and primary elections?
We got 57 questions, and today we’ve got your answers on how to vote.
All of these questions came from the community. Shoutout to Rusty Butler, Ron Bilbao, Anna, Allison, Johann, Ray, Jackie, and Leo for sharing their questions with us. (Some people opted not to share their full names, and others shared their questions totally anonymously).
Stay tuned for our full voter guide out in early August, where we’ll dig into local, state and national races and provide info on some referenda you’ll see on your ballot. And, ICYMI, Monday is your last day to register to vote. See below on how to do that. Now, here’s all the info you need to #votelikeyoulivehere.
How do I know if I’m registered to vote? Where do I register and what is needed?
Reasons to update your registration:
- You’ve moved. It is fraud to vote from a different address.
- You want to vote in the primary but you’re not registered with a party
- Your legal name has changed
What is the deadline to do any of that? ☝️
You’ve got until Monday, July 30.
I’m leaving town around that time. How do I vote?
How can you request an absentee/mail-in ballot? If you request one but don’t use it, can you vote in person on election day? (We get it. That “I voted” sticker is money.)
You can request one through the county website. If you’re feeling more old school you can also fax, email or mail in this form. And yes, if you request one but don’t use it you can still vote at the polls. But you have to bring your absentee ballot with you to the polling station, where they will destroy it to prevent you from voting twice. If you don’t bring it, they’ll make you go get it – they can see in the system that you received an absentee ballot.
How do I know what district I’m in and who is running in my district?
You can find that info on the county’s website here under Voter Information. Fill in some basic info and you’ll find your district and a sample ballot for your district
Will my sample ballot be different than the one shown on the county site?
It will be different since the county site shows all the possible races that could be on the ballot across the county, and all the parties. Your ballot will be specific to your party and the city or part of the county where you’re registered to vote.
Are there any scheduled debates and where will they be taking place?
There have been several in the past few months, but they are scheduled intermittently. Keep an eye on the calendar of events at the bottom of our newsletter for upcoming local debates and forums.
What is the community council?
The community council is an elected group that fills in the gaps on smaller zoning and land use decisions in 10 unincorporated parts of Miami-Dade County. They’re also sort of the eyes and ears for county commissioners and they can give recommendations on what kind of projects and services should get funding.
I’m a legal resident, not a citizen. Can I vote?
Nope, you’ve gotta be a citizen.
Can you leave things blank if you’re uneducated on the issue or don’t have an opinion?
You technically can, but hopefully our voter guide will help fill in those gaps!
Is there a service to help me get to the polls if I’m elderly, disabled, etc. and can’t get myself there?
There’s no formal service offered by the county, but you can find information on assistance for voters with special needs or disabilities on the county’s website. You can also contact your political party – they will often help people get to the polls. Or you can request a mail-in ballot. Also all polling places are required to be ADA compliant.
What is the law around removing candidate signs after the election?
State law says that candidates and their staff should make a “good faith effort” to remove signs within a month after they’ve been eliminated in a race. That obviously doesn’t always happen here in SoFlo, so cities and the county also fine campaigns for the cost of removing the signs.
What positions up for election this year have an influence in transportation? Has that usually been a city/county issue or a state issue?
It’s complicated but the short answer is pretty much all of your elected representatives have a say in some part of transportation. Cities and the county are focused on things like trolley services, the Metrobus and Metrorail, plus the county-run expressways, but the state handles certain major roads, the larger expressways and other major construction projects.
What are all the endorsements and what do they mean?
Organizations like labor, police and fire unions, as well as certain non-profit organizations and advocacy groups will “endorse,” aka declare their support, for candidates. They also often come from political parties and fellow politicians. At a basic level the endorsements mean that the organization or individual believes that candidate reflects their values. For people with a particular cause very near and dear to their heart, an endorsement from a group focused on that issue can carry a lot of weight.