Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 130150
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File Number: 130150 File Type: Ordinance Status: In Committee
Version: 0 Reference: Control: Economic Development & Port Miami Committee
File Name: SUPERVISOR OF ELECTIONS - LANGUAGE OF THE VOTERS PREFERENCE Introduced: 1/25/2013
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action:
Agenda Date: 2/5/2013 Agenda Item Number: 4C
Notes: ITEM DEFERRED TO NO DATE CERTAIN. ITME FILED BCC IN 2/5/13 Title: ORDINANCE REQUIRING SUPERVISOR OF ELECTIONS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY TO ALLOW VOTERS TO SELECT A PREFERRED BALLOT LANGUAGE AND TO PROVIDE VOTERS BALLOTS PRINTED EXCLUSIVELY IN THE LANGUAGE OF THE VOTERS PREFERENCE; CREATING SECTION 12-4 OF THE CODE; PROVIDING SEVERABILITY, INCLUSION IN THE CODE AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE
Indexes: SUPERVISOR OF ELECTIONS
Sponsors: Juan C. Zapata, Prime Sponsor
  Jose "Pepe" Diaz, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Economic Development & Port Miami Committee 4/11/2013 1F1 Deferred

Office of the Chairperson 4/10/2013 Deferrals
REPORT: The Prime Sponsor has requested deferral of this item to no date certain.

Board of County Commissioners 2/8/2013 Municipalities notified of public hearing Economic Development & Port Miami Committee 4/11/2013 2/5/2013

Board of County Commissioners 2/5/2013 Tentatively scheduled for a public hearing Economic Development & Port Miami Committee 4/11/2013

Board of County Commissioners 2/5/2013 4C Adopted on first reading 4/11/2013 P
REPORT: The foregoing proposed ordinance was adopted on first reading and scheduled for a public hearing before the Economic Development and PortMiami Committee on Thursday April 11, 2013, at 2:00 p.m.

Board of County Commissioners 1/28/2013 Requires Municipal Notification Economic Development & Port Miami Committee 4/11/2013

County Attorney 1/25/2013 Referred Economic Development & Port Miami Committee 4/11/2013

County Attorney 1/25/2013 Assigned Oren Rosenthal 1/28/2013

Legislative Text


TITLE
ORDINANCE REQUIRING SUPERVISOR OF ELECTIONS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY TO ALLOW VOTERS TO SELECT A PREFERRED BALLOT LANGUAGE AND TO PROVIDE VOTERS BALLOTS PRINTED EXCLUSIVELY IN THE LANGUAGE OF THE VOTERS PREFERENCE; CREATING SECTION 12-4 OF THE CODE; PROVIDING SEVERABILITY, INCLUSION IN THE CODE AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE

BODY
WHEREAS, Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act (''VRA'') mandates that a state or political subdivision must provide language assistance to voters in ''covered jurisdictions'' where more than five (5) percent of voting age citizens are members of a single language minority group and do not ''speak or understand English adequately enough to participate in the electoral process''; and
WHEREAS, the Department of Justice has determined Miami-Dade County is a covered jurisdiction for the Hispanic language minority group as defined by the VRA; and
WHEREAS, Miami-Dade County traditionally offers absentee ballots with English, Spanish, and Creole translations printed on the same ballot; and
WHEREAS, offering all three languages on the same ballot is often confusing to voters and results in a longer ballot with overly lengthy ballot questions; and
WHEREAS, Miami-Dade County’s trilingual ballots have higher printing, postage and return postage costs to the County taxpayers; and


WHEREAS, the ten to twelve page Miami-Dade County trilingual ballots in the November 6, 2012 General Election contributed to delays for voters trying to complete their individual ballots; which contributed to long lines and waiting times averaging five hours during early voting and much longer in many precincts during election day; and
WHEREAS, other major urban municipalities in the United States like Cook County (Chicago), Illinois allows voters to check off a box on their mail ballot application indicating if they are requesting a mail ballot in a language other than English, by marking Spanish, Chinese or Hindi; and
WHEREAS, the Board of County Commissioners wishes to establish a policy to allow voters in Miami-Dade County to, where otherwise permitted by law, select between ballots printed in the English, Spanish or Creole language - thus reducing the total pages of the ballot and the length of ballot questions,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMIDADE COUNTY, FLORIDA:
Section 1. Section 12-4 of the Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida, is hereby created to read as follows in its entirety:
Sec. 12-4. Availability of Ballots in Languages other than English.

In all county-wide elections and any other election as determined by resolution of the Board of County Commissioners, the Supervisor of Elections, to the extent permitted by State law, shall allow voters to elect a language preference (at a minimum between English, Spanish or Creole) and shall provide such voters, whether voting absentee, early or at their polling place, a ballot printed exclusively in the language of preference.

Section 2. If any section, subsection, sentence, clause or provision of this ordinance is held invalid, the remainder of this ordinance shall not be affected by such invalidity.
Section 3. It is the intention of the Board of County Commissioners, and it is hereby ordained that the provisions of this ordinance, including any sunset provision, shall become and be made a part of the Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida. The sections of this ordinance may be renumbered or relettered to accomplish such intention, and the word ''ordinance'' may be changed to ''section'', ''article'', or other appropriate word.
Section 4. This ordinance shall become effective ten (10) days after the date of enactment unless vetoed by the Mayor, and if vetoed, shall become effective only upon an override by this Board.



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