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Miami-Dade Elections officials prepare for early voting ahead of Florida primary

MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. – Residents in Miami-Dade County are about to begin voicing their choice ahead of Florida’s Aug. 23 primary, and elections officials are making sure everything goes smoothly over the next two weeks.

Early voting in Miami-Dade is set to start bright and early Monday morning and runs through Aug. 21 at 23 locations across the county.

To prepare for the influx of early voters and to make sure every vote counts, the Miami-Dade Elections Department spent this past week doing a test run with its voting equipment.

Miami-Dade Deputy Supervisor of Elections Suzy Trutie said the test run entailed everything from opening the machines to transmitting and tabulating the results, as well as inserting mail in or absentee ballots.

“We’re checking for any discrepancies, whether there’s a problem with the ballot, whether there’s a problem with the machine. We want to catch that early on,” she said.

Voting departments across the country were scrutinized after the 2020 election when former President Donald Trump made controversial claims the election was rigged.

He pointed fingers at vote-by-mail methods, which were popular during the pandemic, saying those votes were not counted properly.

In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis created an Office of Elections Crimes and Security to review fraud allegations.

Elections officials said many of the changes had already been implemented in the county, like being able to drop off vote-by-mail ballots in person.

“Now, when you are requesting a vote-by-mail ballot, you must give additional personal information. For example, you must give the last four digits of your Social Security, or you must give your driver’s license number,” said Trutie.

Early voting also begins Monday in Monroe County. It is set to begin Saturday in Broward County.

In Florida, the primary is closed, meaning that voters need to be registered for a political party and can only vote for that party’s candidates.

Alfred Duncan

Alfred Duncan is a senior editor at The South Florida Daily, where he oversees our coverage of politics, misinformation, health and economics. Alfred is a former reporter and editor for BuzzFeed News, National Geographic and USA Today.

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