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Does Anyone in Miami Care About Local Elections?

June 28, 2011 By Matt Meltzer in Miami: Local News  | 6 Comments


I voted today. For Mayor of the county. A position some might think was important in America’s eighth most populous county. And I was greeted – before showing my ID – by first name by the poll workers.

“You’re the only person in this precinct who ever shows up,” the bored-to-tears poll staff told me. “We were wondering if you’d remember.”


I am one who likes to bitch about how things run in this city. So I always make sure to try and vote out the collection of corrupt losers who govern it.  It never seems to work, since the majority of this county needs little more than a denunciation of Fidel Castro to elect anyone. But at least people can’t say I didn’t try.


That doesn’t seem to be the case in the rest of the county. Outside of older Cuban people, we have about as much interest in local politics here as we do in baseball. And I’d like to see if today’s mayoral runoff attracts more people than a Tuesday afternoon game against the Nationals. Apparently once Luther Campbell got eliminated, people pretty much lost interest.



And that, friends, is why we have one of the nation’s ugliest skylines full of empty condos. That is why our county commission continues to extend the development boundary into the Everglades, despite public support below 20 percent. That is why the culture of this city is maddening to anyone who is used to America.  And that is why the only voice our elected officials will ever hear is that of the Latin Builders Association.

Why is it that people take so little interest in electing local officials, but become passionate to the point of murder when it comes to national ones? Don’t they realize that local politicians make nearly all the decisions that affect their daily lives? And that national politicians rarely do anything that directly affects them, aside from maybe income taxes? People get so worked up about Barack Obama, when their local county commissioner is really the one making their day to day existence unpleasant.


Miami Beach elects our mayor this fall. And since this is not a year where we elect congress or a president, I wonder if again I’ll be the only guy keeping the pollsters at the good ole 53rd precinct company.


I read so many people on this site complaining about potential casinos and poor drainage. About bad cops and getting rid of Memorial Day. And you know who makes those decisions? Not Barack Obama. And not the Republicans, or Marco Rubio or Bill Nelson or even Rick Scott. Those are LOCAL issues, and if you want them changed, you actually have to take an interest in local politics.

But nobody does. I’d be surprised if 10% of the people reading this could even name the two guys running for mayor today.

For my part, I’m not even sure why I voted. The contest was between two Hispanic males who are both in the back pocket of condo developers, which is the exact kind of person I DON’T want running my county. So I opted for the guy NOT facing a federal indictment, just to avoid being a national joke when our mayor goes to prison. But maybe if someone outside Hialeah and Little Havana paid attention to local politics we’d have some more appealing choices. Until then, enjoy the Everglades while you can.

Related Categories: Miami: Local News,

About the Author: Matt Meltzer is a featured columnist at Miami Beach 411.

See more articles by Matt Meltzer.

See more articles by Matt Meltzer

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6 Comments on

"Does Anyone in Miami Care About Local Elections?"

Rick says:

I’m thinking that if you made signing up for a Twitter account or turning on your TV contingent upon voting it might provide enough motivation for people to get off their couch. However, they’re always the first to bitch. You can count on that.

Posted on 06/28/2011 at 6:36 PM

Yaniel says:

No voting for me or anyone in my household this time around. The 10-15 campaign phone calls per day, from early in the morning, during dinner time, and even later, have made me not give a damn about it.

Posted on 06/28/2011 at 8:08 PM

Christy says:

Go ahead and run Matt!

Posted on 06/28/2011 at 9:29 PM

Matt Meltzer says:

Those calls were INSANE. Again, almost made me not want to vote. I didn’t even know those kinds of calls were even legal anymore. And how did they know who to call in English and who to call in Spanish?

Posted on 06/29/2011 at 12:53 PM

FredTheCatTravels says:

What a shame.  It is beyond me why people do not get out and vote.

Posted on 06/30/2011 at 8:15 AM

laurab says:

I went out and voted.  I voted at 11:30 am and was the 28th person to do so at my precinct in North Miami.  I have voted in every election since I turned 18, primaries, generals, run offs, recalls, whatever.  This election was the first time I ever voted Republican, because (duh) it was between two of them.  But I still voted- Gimenez (barf).  But he seemed the lesser of two losers.  I will not lay awake in anticipation of the change he is going to bring to Miami.

Posted on 07/03/2011 at 8:57 AM

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