FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SEPTEMBER 19, 2017
Elections in Senate District 40, House District 116 and
the Village of Virginia Gardens Scheduled for Tuesday, September 26th
Washington, D.C. – Despite the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma on Miami-Dade County and its impact upon the County’s voters, elections in Senate District 40, House District 116 and the Village of Virginia Gardens will go forward as scheduled on September 26, 2017.
These elections will go forward despite an appeal to the Governor, state and local election officials by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Common Cause Florida, State Voices Florida and the League of Women Voters Florida, to postpone the elections due to the devastating impact of Hurricane Irma on Miami-Dade County voters.
“It is incredibly disappointing that Governor Scott did not see fit to delay the Special Election in Miami-Dade County,” said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee. “By choosing to delay some elections and not others, Governor Scott will deny minority voters who have been uniquely impacted by the destruction from Hurricane Irma, the opportunity to elect representatives of their choice. We encourage eligible voters seeking to exercise their right to vote to call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683) with any voting-related questions ahead of next week’s election.”
A major disaster declaration was issued last week for Miami-Dade and Lee counties, among others, due to the severe and widespread devastation caused by Hurricane Irma. Over 32,000 Miami-Dade utility customers remain without power and are struggling to resume their normal lives in the aftermath of this storm. Many residents who evacuated in advance of the hurricane have not returned to their homes. While Governor Scott postponed elections in Lee County from September 26th to October 3rd, he did not provide the same relief for Miami-Dade voters.
Election Protection – the nation’s largest nonpartisan voter protection coalition led by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law – has trained staff available to answer questions on Election Day. Election Protection also utilizes field monitors and voter education, and relies on its expansive network of national partners and state advocates, to respond to any questions or concerns voters may have. In 2016 alone, Election Protection received over 120,000 calls from voters from around the country, and the hotline will continue to serve as a resource for voters year-round.
The 1-866-OUR-VOTE Election Protection hotline will be answered live on Tuesday, September 26, 2017 from 9:00 AM-7:00 PM EDT. The VE-Y-VOTA (1-888-839-8682) will offer assistance to Spanish language speakers and will be answered live on Tuesday, September 26, 2017 from 7:00 AM-10:00 pm EDT. The 1-888-API-VOTE (1-888-273-8683) hotline will offer Asian language speakers support in English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Urdu, Hindi, and Bengali.
Voters are encouraged to call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683) for voting-related questions or problems.
For more information about the work of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law to help Florida voters in the wake of Hurricane Irma, click here.
Information for Miami-Dade County Florida Voters in Senate District 40 and House District 116 Ahead of Next Week’s Special Elections
The deadline to request a Vote-By-Mail (absentee voting) ballot is 5 p.m. on Wednesday, September 20th. Any registered voter eligible to vote may request a vote by mail ballot online (http://www.miamidade.gov/elections/voter-information.asp), or by filling out this form: http://www.miamidade.gov/elections/library/forms/vote-by-mail-ballot-request-en-sp.pdf, and sending it by email, fax, telephone, or in writing:
TTY Number: 305-499-8480
Supervisor of Elections
Attn: Vote by Mail Ballot Section
PO BOX 521250
MIAMI, FL 33152
Additionally, voters may present a picture identification with a signature in person at the Elections Department, or authorize a designee to pick up the ballot on the day prior to Election Day. Some voters may obtain a Vote-By-Mail ballot on Election Day in the event of an emergency or certain special circumstances. More information is available at: http://www.miamidade.gov/elections/vote-by-mail.asp.
Early Voting for State Senate District 40 and House District 116 will take place as follows: Early Voting began on Saturday 9/16 and will continue until Sunday 9/24 from 8AM to 4PM on Sunday and Saturday and 8AM to 6PM on Monday to Friday at ANY of the following three locations:
(1) West Dade Regional Library – 305-553-1134
9445 SW 24th Street/Coral Way, Miami, FL 33165
(2) Coral Reef Branch Library – 305-233-8324
9211 SW 152nd Street/Coral Reef Drive, Miami, FL 33157
(3) Kendale Lakes Branch Library – 305-388-0326
15205 SW 88th Street, Miami, FL 33196
In Person Voting in the Special Elections will take place on Tuesday, September 26th. Polling places will be open from 7:00AM to 7:00 PM. There have been changes to the Polling Places for at least fifteen (15) Precincts. Please check your polling place for these special elections by calling 311, or 1-305-499-8683 if you are outside the County when you dial the call, or by visiting the Miami-Dade County Elections Voter Information web page at: http://www.miamidade.gov/elections/voter-information.asp.
Voters are reminded to check their registration information and confirm whether they are registered to vote in Miami-Dade County by visiting the Miami-Dade County Elections Voter Information web page at: http://www.miamidade.gov/elections/voter-information.asp.
About the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law:
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. Now in its 54th year, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is continuing its quest “Move America Toward Justice.” The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice for all, particularly in the areas of criminal justice, fair housing and community development, economic justice, educational opportunities, and voting rights.
About Election Protection:
Election Protection is the nation’s largest nonpartisan voter protection coalition, led by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Through its suite of hotlines, including the 866-OUR-VOTE hotline (866-687-8683) administered by the Lawyers’ Committee, 888-VE-Y-VOTA (888-839-8682) administered by NALEO Educational Fund, 888-API-VOTE (888-273-8683) administered by APIAVote and Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC and a dedicated team of trained legal and grassroots volunteers, Election Protection helps all American voters, including traditionally disenfranchised groups, gain access to the polls and overcome obstacles to voting. The coalition has more than 100 partners—including Advancement Project, Asian American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Brennan Center for Justice, Common Cause, League of Women Voters of the United States, NAACP, National Bar Association, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, State Voices, Rock the Vote and Verified Voting Foundation—at the national, state and local levels and provides voter protection services nationwide. For more information about Election Protection and the 866-OUR-VOTE hotline, please visit www.866ourvote.org.