By Jessica Sanchez and Mike S Payton, Contributing Reporters
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA – Today, Tuesday, November 19th, the City of Miami Beach voters will decide on three City Commission races from six candidates, as residents go back to the polls for the special Run-Off Election open from 7AM until 7PM.
None of the candidates received more than fifty percent of the vote in the November 5th General Election, which is the requirement to win outright. Now city voters will need to pick between the two top candidates for each contested commissioner seat, Groups 4, 5 and 6.
In Group 4, after two votes separated the second and third place, candidate Steven Meiner who placed second will face former commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez who earned first place on November 5th. In Group 5, Ricky Arriola and Raquel Pacheco are the candidates who qualified, and in Group 6, Adrian Gonzalez and David Richardson made the runoff.
Tanya K. Bhatt, President of Miami Beach United, a volunteer non-profit group of local activists, shared during the General Elections, “As with any election at any level, for any office/issue, voting is a fundamental right and responsibility for every citizen.”
Adding, “If you don’t like the way things are going, this is your opportunity to make a change and put new people into office who will, ideally, align with your values, and to vote on referenda items that you want to see passed or stopped.”
The early voting days were closed on Sunday, November 17th, and the results are; for North Beach City Hall a total 1,470 votes. At the Miami Beach City Hall, the early ballots totaled 758, bring the cumulative total in both places to 2,228 ballots.
As far as the vote-by-mail total, the results are: 8,777 outgoing ballots while the incoming ballots were 1,660 with a return rate of 18.91 percent.
Now the Run-Off election day is here, and residents of Miami Beach who are able to vote should bring a current and valid ID that shows the name, photograph and signature. The voter information card is not required to bring to the elections day however, having it that day may accelerate the voting process.
The run-off election will be held at two locations; Miami Beach City Hall, 1700 Convention Center Dr and North Shore Branch Library, 7501, Collins Avenue.
There is free parking reserved for early voters at the City Hall garage, 1755 Meridian Avenue., and at the North Shore Branch Library.