MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The primary elections last month showed a lot of enthusiasm from voters.
Officials in Miami-Dade County expect turn out to be at historic levels in November, so they’re making room for more people.
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez announced FIU is once again going to have early voting.
“We’re going to be opening up an early voting site at the main campus of FIU on 8th street,” said Gimenez.
That will make a total of 26 early voting locations in the county. A recent court ruling allows voting on college campuses again.
But county commissioner Daniela Levine Cava thinks there should be more campus locations.
“Adding a site at FIU makes a lot of sense, we had a site there before,” said Levine Cava. “But we also need to look at other sites, like Miami-Dade College, also draws huge numbers of possible voters, adding in the north part of the county would make sense. And so adding one addition site is simply not sufficient.”
Miami-Dade College was hoping to get a campus early voting location, but Mayor Gimenez said that will not happen.
When asked why sites couldn’t be placed on MDC’s campus, or at the University of Miami, the mayor said, “because you can’t target one specific group of voters, it has to be non-partisan. It has to be convenient to the largest number of voters in the county.”
FIU was chosen because it’s the largest university, with the largest on campus population.
Supervisor of elections Christina White said there’s really not time to add more sites.
“Right now, one month in advance of an election, it’s really not practical to start adding additional sites,” White said. “It’s certainly something we can contemplate for future elections cycles, maybe in a presidential [election], but for now the number’s going to be 26 for the general. We will look at [additional sites] again in 2020.”
Students would like to see more.
“FIU, that’s a good idea because there is lots of student campus housing, so a lot more students will take advantage of that,” said Miami-Dade student Phillip Suarez De Sa. “But I would say do both places.”
In response to Gimenez’ decision, Miami-Dade College released the following statement late Wednesday afternoon:
“We are very disappointed that Miami-Dade County’s Mayor, a Miami Dade College (MDC) alumnus, has decided against designating an MDC campus as an early voting site for the upcoming General Election. Even more disappointed are our students. More than 85% of MDC students work while attending class, and a campus would have made a convenient and ideal location for early voting. In addition, MDC has the largest enrollment in the nation. We call on the Mayor to reconsider. Making the voting process easier and more accessible for all citizens should always be the guiding principle.”
Also Wednesday, it was announced that Nova Southeastern University in Broward County will be used as an early voting location.
NSU becomes the 22nd early voting location in Broward County.