Miami voters head to the polls on November 7, 2017, to choose a new city mayor; incumbent Tomás P. Regalado is not running for re-election due to term limits. Three seats on the city’s board of commissioners are also up for election in 2017: Districts 3, 4 and 5. However, no one filed to run against District 5 incumbent Keon Hardemon, which means Hardemon automatically wins another term and will not appear on the November 7 ballot.
Here’s what you need to know as you head to the polls:
POLLING HOURS & LOCATIONS: To find your nearest polling location, click here to go to the Miami-Dade County website and enter your voter information. Or, browse the full list of polling places to find the one nearest you. Some locations have changed recently due to reprecincting, so make sure you double check that your precinct’s polling location has not changed before you head out to vote. Click here to view a sample ballot for this election.
REGISTRATION GUIDELINES: Only voters who registered prior to October 10, 2017, are eligible to vote in this election. There is no same-day registration. To register to vote in future elections, click here to visit Miami-Dade County’s online registration portal.
TRACKING RESULTS: Election results will be posted on the Miami-Dade County website once the votes are counted. You can also find results via local media outlets like NBC Miami, Local 10, Miami Herald and WTHR. Some national elections monitoring outlets, such as Ballotpedia, may also be covering the race.
WHAT’S AT STAKE IN THE MAYORAL RACE: Local media outlets have all but called the race in favor of City Commissioner Francis X. Suarez, who has staggeringly outpaced his rivals in fundraising and in name recognition.
If elected, it won’t be the first time that the city has had a Mayor Suarez, nor will it be Miami’s first political dynasty. Suarez’s father, Xavier, served three terms as mayor in the 1980s, back when the city had only one police station and hadn’t yet become the tourist mecca is today. Xavier is credited with helping put the city on that particular path; under his administration, the city added 15 police stations and 1,500 affordable housing units.
Xavier won a fourth term in 1997, but stepped down after just 111 days in office after a judge nullified the election results due to fraudulent absentee ballots cast in his favor. In 2013, Francis Suarez ended his first mayoral campaign after two members of his staff pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges of registering false absentee ballots.
This time around, Suarez’s campaign has been far more successful. He has raised a record $3 million in campaign funds—the bulk of which has gone largely untouched, as Suarez has not had any serious opponents to campaign against. At the September filing deadline, each of the three people who filed to run against Suarez had about $50 in their campaign against; Suarez already had millions.
Suarez’s campaign slogan even embodies apparently not-undue optimism. Posters with his campaign slogans, “the next mayor of Miami” and “el próximo alcalde de Miami,” have littered the city for months. Media outlets have all but called the race for Suarez, citing his lack of serious opponents. “He’s a lock,” said the Miami Herald.
“I’ve run unopposed [for reelection] a couple of times, in 2011 and 2015. That’s something I’m proud of. It really does speak to the work I’ve done and the lessons I’ve learned,” Suarez said at the filing deadline.
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