Just How Many People Voted in the Municipal Elections?

A Vote Here sign outside a Miami Beach polling location.
A Vote Here sign outside a Miami Beach polling location. Photo by Scott McIntyre/Getty Images
Of the 408,310 people who were registered to vote in the fall municipal elections, only 17,711 cast ballots — which amounts to a little over 17.5 percent of the eligible population.

Now that the polls have closed and all 232 precincts have reported, New Times conducted an unofficial — and perhaps a tad absurdist — analysis of voter turnout in the four races in Miami Beach, Miami, Hialeah, and Sunny Isles Beach.

Miami Beach

Dan Gelber was re-elected mayor of Miami Beach, receiving 62 percent of the vote. Of 12,755 total votes cast, 7,936 went to Gelber — roughly the same as the number of warnings issued at South Pointe Park to people for not wearing a mask or failing to practice social distancing by Miami Beach police in May 2020 when the city reopened.

The difference in votes between Gelber and the second-place finisher — Jean Marie Echemendia, who received 3,356 votes — is 4,580, just shy of the dollar amount Guy Fieri reportedly left as a tip on his tab at this year’s South Beach Wine & Food Festival.

Both Miami Beach City Commission races (Groups 1 and 3) will head to runoff elections, with the top two finishers in each group vying for the respective seats.

Kristen Rosen-Gonzalez (4,029 votes), the white woman who “identifies politically as Hispanic,” edged Raquel Pacheco (3,594 votes) by just 435 votes, a figure about equal to capacity of Set nightclub.

Meanwhile, 12,220 votes were cast in the Group 3 race, with Alex Fernandez (4,455 votes) topping Stephen Cohen (3,189 votes) by 1,266 votes — the approximate dollar amount you'd pay for a two-night stay at the W South Beach during Art Basel.

There was no issue more contentious and volatile than the nonbinding referendum on scaling back Miami Beach’s last call for bars from 5 a.m. to 2 a.m., a proposal spearheaded by Gelber.

Of 12,917 ballots cast, the ayes snagged 7,301 votes, or 57 percent. The difference between the “yes” and “no” votes was 5,616 — which is 1,606 more votes than the number of service-industry workers whose jobs may be at risk if the commission codifies the referendum into law.

City of Miami

Of the 467,963 people who live in the City of Miami, only 27,323 came out to vote for mayor — that's 5.83 percent of the population — approximately the same fraction that knows how cryptocurrency works.

Speaking of crypto, incumbent Francis Suarez's four challengers brought in a combined 5,844 votes, while Mayor Tech Bro snagged 21,479 votes. That's a whopping 78.61 percent of the vote, and it's about the same amount Bitcoin has gone up since Suarez started courting tech bros last November.

Joe Carollo’s victory in the race to keep his District 3 commission seat proves that no amount of national embarrassment or insane, offensive initiatives can unseat "Loco Joe" from his seemingly permanent place in Miami politics. Carollo won with 3,998 votes — only a few hundred more than the roughly 3,355 people experiencing homelessness countywide who Carollo would like to see residents adopt.

Incumbent District 5 Miami Commissioner Jeffrey Watson, who was appointed to his position last year to replace Commissioner Keon Hardemon when Hardemon moved up to county government, lost his race to Hardemon ally Christine King. Watson, a conspicuously silent member of the Miami City Commission next to his more boisterous counterparts, garnered 1,003 votes — roughly equal to the number of minutes residents have to wait for public comment as he watched his fellow commissioners scream at each other and other civil servants during the recent Art Acevedo ouster.


Goya beans-loving former county commissioner Esteban “Steve” Bovo won the Hialeah mayoral race in a landslide, with 13,058 votes. His opponent, the Proud Boys schmoozer Julio Jose Martinez, netted a measly 423 votes — or the number of minutes on the Palmetto that residents will save now that Santa's Enchanted Forest has moved out of the neighborhood.

In the most contentious race in Hialeah, frontrunners Angelica Pacheco and Bryan Calvo are heading to a runoff for Group VI councilmember. Pacheco won by a mere 246 votes — the same number of Leon Medical Center transport buses that ply Hialeah's streets at any given moment.

The Group VII frontrunners, Luis Rodriguez and Maylin Villalonga, will also go to a runoff on November 16. But far-right candidate Christopher Monzon, who called himself “The Cuban Confederate,” is out of the race, having managed only 753 votes, which is nearly the number of Confederate monuments that still stand in the U.S. today.

Sunny Isles Beach

A mere 2,273 out of 12,155 registered voters participated in the Sunny Isles mayoral election. That's about 18 percent, just shy of the percentage of Russian-speaking residents who live in the seaside municipality.

With the race still too close to call, the Sunny Isles Beach mayoral election will head to a runoff pitting Commissioner Dana Goldman against the incumbent mayor, Larisa “Laura” Svechin. Goldman edged Svechin by 87 votes, which is close to the combined number of stories in the two Trump Tower condo buildings on Collins Avenue in Sunny Isles Beach. 
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Joshua Ceballos is staff writer for Miami New Times. He is a Florida International University alum and a born-and-bred Miami boy.
Contact: Joshua Ceballos
Alex DeLuca is a fellow at Miami New Times.
Contact: Alex DeLuca
Michael Majchrowicz is a staff writer at Miami New Times. He studied journalism at Indiana University and has reported for PolitiFact, The New York Times, Washington Post, the Post and Courier, and Tampa Bay Times.