Reporting David Sutta
Legislative Session Coverage
NORTH MIAMI (CBS4) – North Miami’s election took another bizarre turn late Friday afternoon. Miami-Dade’s Canvasing Board, in an abundance of caution, chose not to certify the vote. Instead they invited losing candidates to come to Doral and inspect ballots.
It’s the latest chapter in a city election that brought us a voodoo cursed mayoral candidate, endorsed by Jesus; another candidate who handed out bars of soap to “clean up city hall;” and Jean Marcellus, who was punched in the face because a voter didn’t like him.
Friday, Marcellus brought North Miami into a conspiracy.
“This is not a joke, this is not a fact, this is not sore losers. It’s a matter of a discrepancy,” Marcellus told CBS4.
In front of city hall, Marcellus lined up with fellow losing candidates to protest election results.
“Watch the people!” the crowd chanted at times drowning out the candidates voices.
All three of the candidates who made bizarre headlines lost their elections. In fact, Jesus’ endorsement garnered a dismal 56 votes. Dr. Joseph Smith, who had less divine endorsements, was surprised he lost.
“The results show that I came in third place. Very surprising to all of us, including myself,” Smith said.
Smith followed it up demanding for a recount. He claimed 746 absentee ballots are missing.
“This is huge discrepancy that we cannot ignore,” Smith said.
It all stems from CD’s Miami-Dade’s Department of Elections gave one of the candidates. On May 6th, one CD showed more than 2500 had voted absentee. On election day though the department reported 1,820 voted absentee. In total, some 746 ballots seemed to disappear.
“Where are the rest of the absentee ballots.” Marcellus said.
The elections department told us the explanation is simple that the whole thing was all a mix up. The clerk mislabeled the CD handed to the candidate. The 2,566 number was not absentee votes cast, but rather the number of absentee ballots sent out.
Miami Dade’s Supervisor of Elections issued a statement saying, “These allegations are simply inaccurate. This was a miscommunication regarding a request for data, which had no impact on the processing of absentee ballots. All ballots for the City of North Miami have been accounted for. We have contacted the candidate in order to clarify this misunderstanding.”
Smith rejected the explanation telling the crowd at city hall, “I’m asking everyone to stand-up and stand-up for their rights.”
Marcellus echoed the message demanding more.
“There is a huge discrepancy. We need an explanation,” Marcellus said. “We will not stop until we get some explanation from the Department of Elections.”
Monday, Marcellus will get his chance. The Elections Department will allow him and other North Miami candidates the opportunity to visually inspect all 6,000 plus ballots.
Barring no issue, the canvassing board is hoping to certify the vote later Monday afternoon. A runoff is scheduled for June 4th for the top two candidates in several races.