Complexities of the ballot boxSeptember 28, 2012 1:01 PM
After the infamous hanging-chad debacle in the 2000 presidential election, which ended up rewarding George W. Bush with the controversial vote count, Florida election officials learned their lessons and the paper-punching system hasn't been used since.
A touch-screen computer system was introduced post-chad and that lasted for a few years. But it also proved problematic and, in 2008, the state changed again and ordered counties to start using paper ballots so a full record could be kept.
When it comes to voting here, there are federal and state regulations that must be followed but then it's up to counties how they conduct elections in their jurisdictions.
In Miami-Dade county, for example, voters fill in the bubble next to their choice, then feed the paper into a computer terminal that processes it and ensures it is filled out properly.
Florida has frequent elections, at all levels of government, and there is a joke among locals that if it's Tuesday it must be election day.
For those who wonder about the complexity of voting in the U.S., here is how it works in Miami-Dade, by the numbers:
5 the number of pages for this November's ballot. Each page is double-sided so voters are facing 10 pages of candidates and questions. The size of this year's ballot is unprecedented according to election officials.
3 the number of languages on the ballot. English and Spanish are mandated because of census data about the primary languages spoken in Miami-Dade. Haitian Creole is a local addition.
10 the number of proposed amendments to the Miami-Dade charter that voters are being asked to give their opinion on.
11 the number of proposed amendments to the state constitution.
$167,000 what's being spent on an "Election Ready" public awareness campaign.
1.3 million the number of registered voters in Miami-Dade.
8,000 the number of poll workers who will staff the voting locations on Nov.6.
600 the number of voting locations.
8 the number of days for advance voting
$24 million Miami-Dade's budget for November's election.