Now that the communal sigh of relief is over after a strained and disturbing election season, the results are in for review. For many of the residents, observers, and campaigners who still feel like they are attempting to digest a greasy truck stop meal thanks to the insults, innuendos, and bad blood of the campaign that culminated on Valentine’s Day; perhaps a rudimentary analysis of the data might help move the system into a state of cleansing.
Of 6,730 total registered voters in South Miami 1,955 residents turned out to vote or 29 percent of the population. This is good news as it represents a significant uptick from the 23 percent that voted in 2010.
In every one of the eight precincts, democratic voters outnumbered republican voters. Anglo voters also led the way, representing the largest designated block of voters in the election.
A breakdown by precinct reveals an apparent historical trend of fewer voters in the northern half of the city. The four northern precincts in the area of Bird Road and Southwest 57 Avenue resulted in 15 percent to 21 percent turn-out.
The mid-city precincts include the historical African American neighborhoods south of 64 Street and neighborhoods west of 57 Avenue. Those are precincts 621and 623 and they had 24 percent and 35 percent voting.
Finally the most voter turn-out for the two most southern precincts 606, and 653 had 33 percent, and 35 percent, respectively, with the Fuchs Park region to the south —precinct 606— (where the majority of the sitting commission resides) leading the way in highest voter turnout.
One noteworthy observation appears to be a sleeping giant awakening in the African American voter turn-out—precinct 621—increasing from 19 percent in 2010 to 24 percent this year. Former Mayor Julio Robaina, Jr received 59 percent of the votes in this precinct compared to Mayor Philip Stoddard’s 41 percent.
It remains to be seen how the new commission leadership will unveil. Will the pleas from the business owners for a friendlier attitude to commerce generate any tangible cooperative results? Will the demeanor of the dais evolve into an environment of mutual respect notwithstanding ideological differences? So far the recent demise of another long awaited project that seemed so close to fruition during election season is dead in the water again: The Murray Pool Proposal. Not a good sign.
We congratulate all of the winners of the 2012 election season and wish them clarity of mind, articulation of voice, compassion for all, and sound judgment for the good of the residents who depend on a sane, accessible, professional and engaged leadership for South Miami.
Thought of the Day: As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action. Words are to confuse, so that at election time people will solemnly vote against their own interests. — Gore Vidal
Raquel Garcia contributed to this report.
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