Arguments will be heard this morning before U.S. Judge William Zloch on the federal lawsuit brought by voters Vincent Mazilli and Armando Lacasa who are excluded from voting in the Miami-Dade County State Attorney race. The two candidates, incumbent Katherine Fernandez Rundle and challenger Rod Vereen, are both Democrats and two write-in candidates, Michele Samaroo and Omar Malone, filed to run just before the close of qualifying. The write-in candidates closed the race from Republican and Independent voters.At issue is whether a write-in candidate should be considered opponents since they essentially have no chance of winning. This loophole in the law has existed for more than ten years. Some voters are questioning why this is being made an issue in a race that could elect the first black State Attorney in Florida.
The lawsuit was originally filed only against against Miami-Dade County's election supervisor. The plaintiffs were allowed to re-file the case to include the secretary of state and canvassing commission; they want either the Primary Election or General Election opened to all voters.