Election Day: Downtown Miami and Wynwood Need Some Serious Precinct Redistricting

No waiting at the City of Miami fire station along North Miami Avenue in Wynwood.
No waiting at the City of Miami fire station along North Miami Avenue in Wynwood.
Jose D. Duran
Jose D. Duran
Downtown Miami voters wait in line to cast their ballots at the voting precinct at Unity on the Bay church.

When news outlets cover any given election, most tend to focus on pro-Republican areas such Little Havana, Coral Gables, and far-flung parts of West Miami-Dade, or heavily Democratic areas such as Cococut Grove and Miami Beach. But what of downtown Miami? In a few short years, its demographic has shifted from lower-middle-class blue-collar workers -- and the occasional homeless person -- to a mishmash of people from all walks of life -- and still the occasional homeless person.

At noon at Precinct 538, located at Unity on the Bay church, the line went down the block as more than 100 people waited patiently to vote. But Francine Steelman, who was talking to them about Amendment 8, assured us the line had been much longer this morning. "I've been here since 7 o'clock, and [the lines] have been long, but it's been pretty quick."

No waiting at the City of Miami fire station along North Miami Avenue in Wynwood.
No waiting at the City of Miami fire station along North Miami Avenue in Wynwood.
Jose D. Duran
Jose D. Duran
No waiting at the City of Miami fire station along North Miami Avenue in Wynwood.

A few blocks down at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, located across from the Omni Building, there was barely a voter to be seen. Same goes for the precinct located at the City of Miami fire station along North Miami Avenue in Wynwood. Stephen, a young man holding a sign a few feet from the station with a phone number for voters to call if they had problems voting, said that in the morning there was a line to vote. Asked how far the line extended, he pointed to about 10 feet from where the line, if there had been one, started. We told him that wasn't much of a line, to which he quipped, "Look around you. Do you see any homes?" Touché.

As we headed back to the office, we bumped into Gertha St. Victor and Natalie Lascano, who were knocking on doors on behalf of the Obama campaign, urging registered voters to get to the polls before they close. "So far I've gotten through to seven of them," St. Victor said as she flipped through her clipboard, "but a lot of them are at work."

"A lot of the apartment buildings are locked too," added Lascano.

-- Jose D. Duran


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