The Miami-Dade Election Reform Coalition


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Mission Statement:
he Miami-Dade Election Reform Coalition (MDERC) is a non-partisan grass-roots organization dedicated to election reform. Our mission is to protect the rights of every eligible voter to cast a ballot and to have that ballot accurately recorded and counted. We are neither liberal or conservative, Republican or Democrat. We will not be co-opted by partisan agendas, political strategies or candidate or issue-driven interests. If you do not agree with this, we are not the group for you. 

The MDERC / (Best Of and Recent) News:



Final Reports for Be a Hero for Democracy Worker Recruitment Project (Read) and

Time the Vote 2008 Election Observation Project (Read) published.


Our own Lida and Sandy at a "This Year Your Vote Will Count, Early Voting Rally:

Q.      Do I need to have a VOTER INFORMATION CARD in order to be permitted to vote?
A.      No.  Absolutely Not.  If you are asked for it, please remind the poll worker that the voter information card is NOT REQUIRED and advise them that they should not be asking you, or any other voter, to provide it.
Q.      What forms of ID can I present at the polls?
A.      There are nine forms of picture and signature identification accepted at the polls. They are:
       State of Florida Driver's License
       ID Card issued by the State of Florida
       U. S. Passport
       Debit/Credit Cards
       Military ID
       Student ID
       Retirement Center ID
       Public Assistance ID
       Neighborhood Association ID
Q.      Does my signature and picture have to appear on the same piece of ID?
A.      No.  You can have more than one piece of ID from the list above - one with your signature and one with your picture.
Q.      Does my ID have to have my address on it?
A.      No.  Your ID is used only to make sure that you are who you say you are.  The photo on the ID is compared to the person standing before the poll worker and the signature is matched against the signature that the voter puts on the precinct register when she signs in to vote.  That's it!
Q.      What if I don't have any of the forms of ID listed above?
A.      IF YOU KNOW THAT YOU ARE REGISTERED TO VOTE but you do not have any of the above-listed forms of ID, you will be required to vote a provisional ballot.  You provisional ballot WILL COUNT so long as the signature on the ballot matches the signature that is on file with your elections office.
Q.      If I am concerned about my registration status or have doubts about the validity of my ID, what do you recommend?
A.      DON'T WAIT UNTIL ELECTION DAY!  Vote during the Early Voting period.  In Florida, Early Voting starts on October 20, 2008, with flexible hours, weekend voting and convenient locations.  In addition, Early Voting is not likely to be as hectic as Election Day, so you are likely to receive individualized attention if you encounter problems.  MOST IMPORTANTLY, IF YOU RUN INTO PROBLEMS WHEN YOU TRY TO VOTE EARLY, YOU WILL HAVE PLENTY OF TIME TO TRY TO CORRECT THOSE PROBLEMS BEFORE ELECTION DAY.


Early Voting

Why Wait? Vote Early!


In Florida, Early Voting starts Oct 20, 2008 and continues for two weeks before Election Day. 

The Early Voting period has flexible hours, weekend voting and convenient locations so you can vote near your home or place of employment.

In Miami-Dade County, Early Voting is held at 20 different voting sites throughout the County.  Here is a list (Read) of the Early Voting locations for Miami-Dade and schedule for the November Presidential Election.

Early Voting is not likely to be as hectic as Election Day, so you are likely to receive individualized attention if you encounter problems and IF YOU RUN INTO PROBLEMS WHEN YOU TRY TO VOTE EARLY, YOU WILL HAVE PLENTY OF TIME TO TRY TO CORRECT THOSE PROBLEMS BEFORE ELECTION DAY.

So what are you waiting for?  Vote early!  You can then dedicate Election Day to working the polls, engaging in an election protection activity, volunteering for your favorite candidate, or simply relaxing at work while others fret about having waited until Election Day to vote!


Absentee Voting – An Option You Should Consider!!!!! (Read) (Absentee Request)


Questions & Answers about Florida's "No Match" Law (Read)


Be a Hero for Democracy

Miami Dade County is moving to a new optical scan voting system.  This is an exciting time, but change can be a difficult for everyone. Help your fellow voters during this transition by signing up to work in a community precinct on upcoming election days - Usually in your own neighborhood.



Click for details in English/Spanish  -  Creole



Get involved - Become a Poll Worker in Miami-Dade Elections. Click here for details and click here for a copy of the Application to become a Poll Worker.


Join the Miami-Dade Election Reform Coalition in this historic transition to optical scan technology and volunteer to


Under a law passed in 2007, Florida is switching from DRE touchscreen voting machines to precinct counted optical scan ballots. Voters fill in bubbles to mark their choices on paper ballots that are scanned and counted at the precincts. If the scanning machine finds an "overvote" (too many marked bubbles for any given contest), it will notify the voter, and the voter can ask for a new ballot and make a correction before it is cast. The change will affect 15 Florida counties in which more than half of all Florida voters are found, including Miami-Dade County. The switch will be in place for the August Primary and November General Election.

Every change in voting technology brings with it new challenges both election officials and voters that can affect time in voting or lines at the polls. The Miami-Dade Election Reform Coalition has therefore decided to monitor the changing system by looking at the total time spent by voters at the polls and discussing the process with voters.

The Time The Vote project will gather data on how long it takes voters using the precinct counted optical scan systems to go through the entire process of casting a ballot, from checking in and waiting in line to exiting the polling location. We will involve voters in the process and ask them for comments. We believe that this data will assist in determining whether improvements are needed and will lead to answers for the following important questions: Are there issues that need attention in this transition? Is there a better way to distribute resources? Are there factors impacting lines in some parts of the community and not others? Are there additional training methods that can be implemented for poll workers? What types of voter education might be needed to ameliorate any problem?

The Time The Vote Project will gather its data by deploying Time the Vote Volunteers to a broad mix of polling locations throughout Miami-Dade County, during the Early Voting period and Election Day for the August Primary Election. The Volunteers will ask voters to participate and hand them a small card with the time marked that the voter received the card. Upon exiting the poll, the voter will return the card to the volunteer. The card will be marked with the exit time and the total time of the voting process. Participating voters will also be asked about their observations and comments in the process of voting inside the precinct. The project will not collect any data about the voters' choices of candidates or other political information.

We are hoping for a high turnout in August and we look forward to using the information gathered through this project to improve the transition to the optical scan system.

Why Should I Volunteer?

Only you, our eyes and ears, can tell us how long it takes to vote using the new optical scan technology. With your help we can gather this information from as many voters as possible to improve the system for everyone. Oh, and you get a nifty free T-shirt.

What Will I Do?

You'll ask voters to time themselves to see how long it takes them to vote—from standing in line to exiting the polling location—and two or three other questions. It's that simple.

 Where Can I Volunteer?

Time The Vote will have a presence at precincts across the county. You can sign up to volunteer at a precinct close to home or work and we will try to accommodate you. Or be adventurous and sign up for a random location.

When Can I Volunteer?

Volunteer Observers are being recruited for Early Voting (August 11 - 24) and Primary Election Day (August 26). You can sign up to do as little or as much as you want.

Alright, I'm In.  How Do I Sign Up?
Simply fill out the volunteer form (English) - form (Spanish) - form (Creole)
Read flyer (English) - flyer Spanish - flyer Creole or in the email that contained this flyer. You can also email to receive a form. Once we receive your form, we will assign you a training date and send you more information.

Business Poll Worker Lottery

Because businesses employ a wealth of qualified, motivated individuals who are used to dealing with complex directions and to communicating with the diverse members of our South Florida community, our “Business Poll Worker Lottery” Project is looking to tap into the businesses in our area to make sure our elections run smoothly. Click here for details.

Disaster looms again on Election Day in Florida (Read)

Final MDERC Report: Poll Closing Observation and Beyond

MDERC: Early Voting Worksheet (Read) - Election Day Poll Closing Worksheet (Read)
Invitation 2006 Poll Closing Observation Project (Read) - Poll Observation Outreach Form (Read) Poll Observation Signup Sheet (Read) - Report Election 2004 (Read)
Letter to John Mendez (Read) - Letter to Lester Sola (Read)
Verified Voting: Observer Worksheet (Read) - Early Voting and Ballot Counting (Read)
Poll Closing Observation Why's, How's and What's (Read) - Polling Place Procedures Florida (Read)

The Miami-Dade Election Reform Coalition is delighted that the work of two of its long-standing members will be honored at the 19th Annual In the Company of Women Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, March 7, 2007. Martha Mahoney and Barbara Schwartz are both honorees this year.

These awards recognize “outstanding women who have made significant contributions to the quality of life for the Miami-Dade County community.” The Miami-Dade County Commission for Women, Mayor Alvarez and the Board of County Commissioners certainly knew what they were doing when they made both Marnie and Barbara honorees this year!  (Read more Invitation

MDERC 2007 Position Paper on Florida Voting Systems was published 01/19 (Read)

Press Release MDERC 2007 Florida Legislative Campaign (Read) Please note that in order to fully understand the press release, it is necessary to read the MDERC position paper:
MDERC 2007 Position Paper on Florida Voting Systems (Read)

Provisional Ballot Survey Elections 2006 (Read). Please fill in and submit to:   Thanks to all of you for your participation!

Frontpage Article "Electile Dysfuncion" was published Oct. 31 in the MiamiSunPost
MDERC prominently featured!   (Read)

MDERC'S Nov. 2006 Poll Closing Observation Forms and Materials - everything you need to know before you go to observe and everything you need to take with you! Haven't signed up to observe yet? What are you waiting for?   Training Schedule Flyer
Contact Bonnie Daniels at 305-255-6455 or e-mail:
Worried that you need a quick primer before you go? Contact Bonnie for training details.

2006...580.pdf = Poll Closing Observation Project - The Why's, How's and What's
2006...013.pdf = F.S. 101.5614 - Voting Methods and Procedure - Canvass of returns (this is the law that allows the public to observe the counting of the votes)
2006...281.pdf = F.S. 104.29 - Election Code: Violations; Penalties - Inspectors refusing to allow watchers while ballots are counted (this is the law that says it is a crime to prevent the public from observing the counting of the votes)
2006...064.pdf = 08/07/06 Letter to Wayland, MDERC from Sola, Supervisor of Elections (the first paragraph of the letter tells observers what information they are allowed to gather)
2006...426.pdf = 11/7/06 Poll Closing Observation Forms (use this if you are observing on Election Day)
2006...184.pdf = Nov. 2006 Early Voting Worksheet form (use this if you are observing Early Voting)

Voting Integrity Alliance of Tampa Bay Florida ( Materials:
If you are working on the Poll Closing Project in Pinellas County, Contact Pam Haengel at 727-821-1116 or 727-244-9064, or e-mail:   (Download all materials)
Worried that you need a quick primer before you go? Contact Pam for training details.

PinellasPCOPDataCollForm.pdf = Nov. 2006 Early Voting Worksheet form for Pinellas County observers (use this if you are observing Early Voting)

PinellasPCOPWhys&Hows.pdf = Pinellas Poll Closing Observation Project - "The Why's, How's and What's"

PinellasPCOP1015614FS.pdf = F.S. 101.5614 - Voting Methods and Procedure - Canvass of returns (this is the law that allows the public to observe the counting of the votes)

PinellasPCOP10429FS.pdf = F.S. 104.29 - Election Code: Violations; Penalties - Inspectors refusing to allow watchers while ballots are counted (this is the law that says it is a crime to prevent the public from observing the counting of the votes)

PinellasPCOPThings.pdf = "Things to Bring & Things to Know" - a checklist of information and reminders for observers in Pinellas County

PinellasPCOPSchedSheet.pdf = Dates & Times of voting in Pinellas County, dates & location you are signed up for, buddy info, etc.

Transcript from the Florida 2006 HAVA Planning Committee

Meeting held on October 12, 2006 in Miami, Florida. (Read)

The MDERC report on the 2004 election, GET IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME, exposed serious election problems including electronic ballot stuffing. The report can be found here (Read) and its appendices, which include results tapes and other election documents from 2004, can be found here (Read). The report was cited five times  in the General Accountability Office's 2005 report on efforts to improve the security and reliability of electronic voting. (Read)

Volunteer for the 2006 Poll Closing Observation Project!
The ultimate purpose of the project is to engage every-day citizens across the country in learning about and being part of monitoring poll closings. These citizens can become an integral part of the process of election reform. In addition, the project aims to uncover and accurately report on basic flaws and failures in the systems of vote tabulation and ballot counting so as to serve as a resource for others. (Read more)   MDERC Volunteer Form   Tampa Flyer

Please contact Bonnie Daniels at 305-255-6455 (in charge of recruitment)

Training sessions, which should last no more than one hour, will be held:

Wed., Oct. 18, 6:30 p.m., 4500 Biscayne Blvd., Suite 340

Thur., Oct. 19, 7 p.m., South Dade Regional Library, 10750 SW 211 St.

Wed., Nov. 1, 6:30 p.m. 4500 Biscayne Blvd., Suite 340

(We are looking into the possibility of scheduling one more session in the south after Nov. 1).

Please note: If you have volunteered to observe during Early Voting, you need to attend either the Oct. 18 or Oct. 19 training, as Early Voting starts on Mon. Oct. 23. If you cannot attend, contact Bonnie Daniels, or 305-255-6455.

Please note that the next HAVA State Planning Committee Meeting will
take place on October 12, 2006 in Miami. As you will note from the
attached draft agenda, there is time for public testimony.  Agenda

Posted on Wed, Jun. 28, 2006


Critic: Paper vote records vital

A California computer expert discussed with two local groups the importance of having a paper record attached to electronic voting machines.


Advocates push for voting rights renewal as lawsuit resumes
Associated Press Writer

Civil rights activists urged Friday that parts of the Federal Voting Rights Act be renewed, as labor unions amended their lawsuit accusing the state of violating another section of law by using confusing voter registration forms. (Read)

Date:  Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Contact: Sandy Wayland
Cell:  305-297-9921


Tell Attorney General, Charlie Crist, That You Are the Consumer

“Election Reform and Voter ID:

Access & Integrity”

As states work to improve their election systems under the Help America Vote Act, controversy over voter identification requirements has come to the forefront of debates on election reform.  That controversy is likely to continue if not intensify in the months leading up to November's elections.  Based on the Carter-Baker Commission's proposals on voter ID, Robert Pastor and Spencer Overton will offer alternative perspectives on where we should go from here.
Join leading experts for a discussion on voter ID and other critical election reform topics.


Tuesday, February 21st

6:00 - 8:00 pm

National Press Club

529 14th Street, NW - Washington, DC 20045


John Fortier
, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, is a principal contributor to the new AEI/Brookings Election Reform Project.
Robert Pastor,
executive director of the Carter-Baker Commission on Federal Election Reform and director of the Center for Democracy and Election Management at American University.

Professor Spencer Overton
, George Washington University Law School, specializes in voting rights and campaign finance law. Professor Overton was also a commissioner on the Carter-James Baker Commission on Federal Election Reform.
Lida Rodriguez-Taseff,
chair of the Miami -Dade Election Reform Coalition, director of the Advancement Project's Right to Vote Initiative and Board Member of Verified Voting.

***Please RSVP to Bobbie Brinegar at .


ACCURATE (Center for Correct, Usable, Reliable, Auditable, and Transparent Elections) public comments on the 2005 Voluntary Voting Systems Guidelines. (Read)

MDERC Comments to the United States Election Assistance Commission regarding their proposed Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG) – Sept 2005 (Read)

A new MDERC study finds that the Florida election law passed in 2005 will put Black and Hispanic voters in a worse position than they were in under the previous laws. Read our letter to the Department of Justice, commenting (Read) on their review of the Florida legislation.

MDERC Statement for the United States Senate /  Committee on Rules and Administration

Lida Rodriguez-Taseff, Chair, Miami-Dade Election Reform Coalition
Bobbie Brinegar, D.C. Director, Miami- Dade Election Reform Coalition

Thank you for the opportunity to submit material for the record on this critically important topic. Few tasks in a democracy are as important as ensuring public confidence in the outcome of elections. (Read)

 2005 Sunshine State Journalism Award:
Matthew Haggman; Daily Business Review;
..inspired by the MDERC, article "Count Crisis" wins 2 awards for an article for best Investigative Reporting and best Governmental/Political Reporting.

MDERC going to DC!
Our board members Martha Mahoney and Bobbie Brinegar
attended a
Election Verification Project Meeting, Washington, DC, November 17, 2004. Bobbie Brinegar moved to DC to represent the MDERC at the White House.

Chair of the Miami-Dade Reform Coalition named best Lawyer at Miami New Times award:  Read
Originally published by Miami New Times May 13, 2004
©2004 New Times, Inc. All rights reserved.
BEST LAWYER: Lida Rodriguez-Taseff


-->The Miami-Dade Election Reform Coalition on BBC news:

Look on the right side under, "Programmes"
Click, "Open more audio/video news"
At the bottom of the window that opens, titles of stories sequence. When "'No vote' for Florida convicts" comes up, click on it.
Here is a possible caption:
View April 23, 2004 news report by Daniel Lak, reporter for the BBC, titled:
"'No vote' for Florida convicts"


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