David and Ileana

After voting at the South Shore Community Center on Miami Beach early this morning, I went to the market across the street for some coffee and found myself standing in line behind Tony Garcia, a Precinct 48 poll worker with a shaved head and a goatee. He was reinforcing the troops: at least five coladas and cafe con leches were stacked in paper bags for the good citizens supervising the vote. Garcia said that as of 8:30 a.m. there were no problems to report, aside from having to wipe down a machine after one voter's explosive sneezing fit. Then he peered at my face:

"I know you from somewhere. Do you go to Churchill's?"

Er, I was there last night...

"I knew I recognized you!"

Outside, activists from gay rights organization SAVE Dade enlisted supporters of marriage equality. Members of various political parties waved signs at passing cars, mostly for David "Big Dave" Patlak, whose headquarters are just down the street in SoFi. Patlak, a virtually unknown Democrat running against nine-term Republican congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, is doomed to lose. Somehow the fact that his campaign headquarters are in a studio apartment in the building next door to my studio apartment makes that fate seem that much more certain.

Nonetheless, the Miami Beach Democrats will be hosting a "Victory Party" tonight at the Miami Beach VFW , since if you're a Democrat in Miami-Dade County drinking is probably the best response to the local election results.

--Emily Witt

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Chuck Strouse is the former editor in chief of Miami New Times. He has shared two Pulitzer Prizes and won dozens of other awards. He is an honors graduate of Brown University and has worked at newspapers including the Miami Herald and Los Angeles Times.
Contact: Chuck Strouse