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Miami-Dade, Federal Officials Examine Elections Mistakes To 'Fix' Problems

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CARLOS GIMEMEZ
Voters line up in the dark to cast their ballots at a polling station, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012 in Miami. (AP/Wilfredo Lee) | Getty Images
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Local and federal officials are taking another look at what went wrong at polls and what can be done differently in order to prevent another election year disaster.

Nearing the top of that list, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez acknowledges county commissioners failed to evenly reapportion voting precincts in advance of the election.

"That wasn't done because certain commissioners thought that could be a way of suppressing the vote," Mayor Gimenez remarked to The Miami Herald.

According to the Miami-Dade County Elections website as of Monday, the precinct reassignments were scheduled to be completed in advance of the August 14th primaries, but was put off by county commissioners weary of catching potential Election Day blame.

Claims of voter suppression arose on Election Day arose anyhow, and complaints of chronically long lines and waiting times prompted the Department of Justice to closely watch the elections process in Miami, and now heed the President's call to "fix that."

"You shouldn't have to vote and by they time you get to the front of the line, you know you won the election," DOJ assistant civil rights attorney general Tom Perez told an audience at a legal forum Washington D.C. Friday.

Perez's statement allude to instances like the Miami-Dade voters who waited until after 1 a.m. to cast their vote, two hours after the election had already been called for President Obama.

One of the leading fixes Perez is suggesting is changing regulations to make it easier to cast and record provisional ballots, many of which were not included in national election night tallies.

"The Justice Department is considering whether we need to propose concrete solutions… to ensure that voters are not disenfranchised by moves close to an election, by appearing at the wrong polling place, or by simple poll workers' errors," he said.

Other recommendations Perez made include same-day voter registration and automatic voter registration.

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