By Ted Scouten

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Hundreds of thousands of ballots are already being processed in South Florida.

In Miami-Dade 628,823 ballots were sent in the mail, 142,136 have been filled out and sent back. In Broward, 563,779 ballots were mailed out with 169,772 completed and returned to be counted.

“We cue them up for tabulating then they’re run through an auditing process,” explained Broward Supervisor of Elections Peter Antonacci. “Then they’re boxed, awaiting potential recounts or public records request or auditing,” he said.

In Miami-Dade elections workers are doing the all-important “Logic and Accuracy Test.” Miami-Dade Supervisor of Elections Christina White calls it “The Confidence Test.”

“We have already created, essentially, what the results are supposed to be at the end of this test,” White explained. “They come, they’re feeding them in through the machines, we closed them down. We transmit the results and we compare the test and the accuracy of what we are doing here to what we were expecting the outcome to be,” she said.

Both Miami-Dade and Broward are predicting record numbers of voters.

In Miami-Dade, 80 percent of all registered voters are expected to cast ballots. That would smash the record of 73 percent set in 2016.

In Broward, 75 percent of all voters are likely to participate, up from the previous record of 71% in the last presidential election. “Certainly with historic turn out there are going to be lines,” White said. “My objective here is to make sure that they’re moving and people are able to vote conveniently.”

While we’ve spotted short lines of people dropping off ballots in person — or others in their cars returning them, elections officials don’t anticipate we will have long lines for in-person voting, like we’re already seeing in other states.

“Vote by mail diminishes the possibility of lines,” Antonacci said. “So I’m expecting we’ll have between 4 and 500-thousand vote by mail ballots, that will be about 60% and that leaves 40% left for Election Day and Early voting.

In Miami-Dade, White explained, “We have 33 early voting sites, more than we’ve ever had in the history Miami-dade county. So we’re very proud of that. We’re also offering the maximum days and hours under the law. So we believe that will help distribute the voting population between our sites,” she said.

And supervisors pointing out masks are mandatory at the polling places and are counting on voters to follow the rules. “There’s an ordinance and I rely on people’s common sense and good faith,” Antonacci said. When asked if there were plans to deal with people are not masked he said, “No plans, good faith. Most people are good people and they’ll abide by the law,” he said.

In-person early voting begins Monday. There will be 33 sites around Miami-Dade and 22 in Broward.

Ted Scouten

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