Why Many Registered Voters In Miami-Dade Didn’t Vote

Nov 14, 2012

Miami-Dade County had 33 percent of its registered voters not vote this past election.
Credit Lightblb on Flickr

Florida voters waited almost a week to hear who won the presidential election in Florida. It wasn’t until Saturday, Nov. 10 that President Obama had been declared the winner.

According to the Florida Division of Elections, only 67 percent of registered voters in Miami-Dade County cast a ballot in this election. This includes people who waited in line at the polls, and people who voted via absentee ballot.

Statewide, this number hovers around 71 percent, which is the lowest turnout in the past three presidential elections.

The exact numbers in Miami-Dade come out to 886,972 votes out of 1,313,850 registered voters, data from the state shows. The question remains, though, why did 33 percent of Miami-Dade’s registered voters not vote?

Registered voter Edwin Castillo says he was too busy with his job to vote for the presidential election.

“I didn’t have time to go,” he says. “I have a seven-day-a-week job, twelve hour days, and the long lines is what kind of stressed me out.”

These long voting lines in Miami-Dade County intimidated many of its registered and willing voters.

Miami-Dade native Amanda Suarez is also a registered voter that sat out the long lines. She says she didn’t vote because she really wasn’t impressed with the presidential candidates.

“I wasn’t going to stand in a five hour line,” she says.

Florida International University student Anthony Andreoli has similar reasons for why he didn’t vote.

“I didn’t like either of the candidates,” he says.

One registered voter who did not want to disclose her name says she tried to vote and wishes she could have.

“I requested the absentee ballot a few weeks ago and it stated on the website that they sent it, but I never received it,” she says.

These sentiments were a running theme during this election. Many registered voters in Miami-Dade did not vote this past week because of hectic schedules, long voting lines, a dislike for both of the running candidates -- and, of course, some requested absentee ballots never made it to their destinations.

Florida as a whole had 71.13 percent of its registered voters contribute their ballots. The official numbers are 8,489,202 votes out of the 11,934,446 registered voters.