Miami voters are one big step closer to a vote on whether to strip County Mayor Carlos Alvarez of his office, as Clerk Harvin Ruvin officially certified billionaire car dealer Norman Braman's recall effort this afternoon.
Braman managed to collect more than 95,000 valid signatures in favor of the recall, Ruvin reports. Now, barring legal appeals, the County Commission will have to set an election date to vote on the measure.
Alvarez pledged to look into the certification to figure out whether any step could be challenged.
He released this statement:
"I will continue to lead during challenging times with integrity, sincerity and a commitment to public service. We are analyzing the data and will continue reviewing the legitimacy of the certification process. I remain focused on the job I was elected to do - ensuring the safety of our residents, providing quality programs and services, and making strategic investments that position our community for the future."
Ruvin's tough job started last month. After weeks of long lines outside dozens of Braman-sponsored recall centers, the auto magnate dropped off 113 boxes full of more than 113,000 signatures.
Ruvin's staff analyzed each signature to certify that each represented a valid voter and to toss out duplicate names.
More than 6,500 were scrapped because they weren't on the voter rolls, Ruvin says, and another 5,000 or so were ruled out for a variety of other reasons, from illegible signatures to lacking addresses.
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Still, Braman exceeded the 52,000 signatures needed to certify the recall by a huge margin.
Update: Braman just sent Riptide this statement about the recall:
We understand that the Harvey Ruvin, the Clerk of the Circuit Courts, today has issued a
certification that acknowledges the validity of the mayoral recall drive. This certification insures the voters the right to express their opinion about whether Mayor Carlos Alvarez should remain in office or be removed from office immediately upon the voters expressed will for recall.
We look forward to a swift action upon this certification by the Board of County Commissioners to schedule an election so that the will of the voters of Miami-Dade County can be heard on this most important of issues.
We also ask that Mayor Alvarez allow the voters of our community to make this important decision and refrain from instituting frivolous and delaying actions that may prevent citizens from exercising their right to vote as soon as possible.