Engage Miami’s 2018 Election Impact
November 14, 2018
Election day is over, the polls have closed, and votes have been (mostly) tallied. It has been a historic midterm election in Florida and across the country with record turnout rates far surpassing 2014 levels. In our state turnout is up 19% from 2014 and in Miami-Dade it’s up 18% based on current reporting (41% in 2014 vs 57% in 2018). In a state with razor thin margins, this election truly shows that every voter matters, and that election turnout in South Florida is critical to representing our voices at the ballot booth.
We saw a surge in early voting numbers in Florida and other states as well. In particular, we’re proud to report that the newly won early voting sites at MDC and FIU reported a total of 11,294 votes and 7,704 votes respectively—a huge win for young people’s advocacy here in Miami-Dade. Across the country young people voted early in unprecedented numbers, and Political Science Professor Daniel Smith said Monday that in Florida over 220,000 more young people voted early or by mail this year than they did in 2014.
Our team in Miami pushed hard all year to register and prepare young people in our community to vote. We had thousands of conversations and conducted dozens of workshops at campuses across the county on how vote, the basics of local government, and what’s on the ballot. We registered 7,016 people to vote, had over 6,000 voters sign pledges to vote, sent out 10,000 motivational voting mailers, knocked on over 4,000 doors, shared over 100,000 voter guides, and collaborated with partners on campus and in the community to throw over 200 parties to the polls.
We spoke at the Miami Dade County Commission, and together with student leaders were able to secure two crucial early voting sites on MDC campuses. We educated voters and were active as advocates every day for Rights Restoration through Amendment 4 while canvassing and in our day-to-day work on campuses across Miami-Dade and are thrilled that more Floridians will be able to exercise their power at the polls.
Executive Director Rebecca Pelham says “as we look to the future we will continue to activate, educate, and elevate our young people here in Miami—both during elections and 365 days a year for sustained investment in our next generation of leaders and voters.”