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Arnie’s Updates

Arnie’s blog posts

Fourth of July Statement

MIAMI, FL (JULY 4, 2024) – Today we celebrate what George Washington called “the last great experiment for protecting human happiness” as we commemorate the 248th anniversary of the adoption of our country’s Declaration of Independence. 

And yet today, we find that the underlying ideals of that Declaration have never been in greater peril.  Just 3 days ago the Supreme Court determined that a President does have the powers of a King or Queen when in office and stands above the law with their actions outside the reach of our Justice System. 

No leader should assume office seeking immunity for their actions unless that leader already knows that they need such protection. Immunity will only allow a President to put the full force of the government upon the people instead of in support of them.  We all witnessed the extent to which Donald Trump went to try to avoid leaving power.

At the state level we have seen where Governor DeSantis and the legislature have done everything they can to make voting more complicated and less accessible.  They have purged the mail in voting rolls; limited who can register voters; and mandated irregular and costly purging of voting roles despite absolutely no tangible evidence of ineligible voters voting in our elections without intent.  The State of Florida also continues to not participate in sharing of date with other states so we can eliminate illegal multi state voting.  Ultimately, the Governor and Republican dominated legislature have undermined the confidence that people have that their representation is representative of them.

Unfortunately, the citizens of House District 107 in North Miami, Miami Gardens, Sunny Isles, and North Miami Beach now face disenfranchisement and election fraud at the hands of our broken statutes and ineffective leadership at the State and local level. As a result, they will have an unqualified candidate appearing on the ballot next month in a race that will fully seat a member of the Florida State House.  This was all clearly preventable if the underlying systems had been engineered to do the job of preventing either the candidate or the Department of State from proceeding and this is why I am running for Miami-Dade Supervisor of Elections so that we prevent this type of perversion of our electoral process from being allowed to occur.

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JUNETEENTH HOLIDAY STATEMENT

MIAMI, FL (JUNE 19, 2024) – Today we celebrate the final emancipation of slaves in Texas on June 19, 1865 more than two and a half years after President Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Even though it would not be until December when the 13th amendment would end slavery throughout the United States it is important that we take time to not only celebrate the joy of freedom but also to remember the lengths to which those who opposed it were willing to go to preserve slavery.

Unfortunately, we currently find ourselves in a climate where these same forces obstruct progress and threaten with violence (and in some cases actions) if they do not get the political outcomes they want. This is why we have a 6-3 Supreme Court that doesn’t reflect the political or demographic realities of a country where a majority has voted Democratic in 7 of the last 8 Presidential Elections. These same people continue to gerrymander districts and limit the voices of blacks, browns, and all people who do not agree with them. They have kept women from attaining equality under the Constitution and continue to chip away at their rights to privacy and to make their own medical decisions.

The people of Miami-Dade face a real choice in August and I know that they will vote for me because I have a plan for actually working to improve accessibility to the ballot box for all legally eligible voters; and protecting the ideals that all Americans and the Democratic Party should stand for. Willis Howard has made it clear that he will keep the status quo at the Department despite the obvious and significant budget and leadership consequences of just building on top of the existing structure. JC Planas has spent his entire career fighting to protect and further the voting goals of the Republican Party and also promises to maintain the status quo at the Department.

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ARNIE WEISS ON QUALIFYING

MIAMI, FL (JUNE 14, 2024) – Today I filed the forms and paid the fee to appear on the Democratic Primary ballot this August, just as was done by the other three candidates in the race since no one qualified via signature.  This of course shines a light on the inequity involved in making the ballot a “pay to play” scheme that too many find outside their reach.  

However, unlike the other candidates (regardless of party affiliation) I have also provided the voters of Miami-Dade a plan as to what I want to do should I win the support of the Democratic Primary voters in August and then from all the voters in the county in November.

No candidate in this race has any incumbency or name identification.  This is why I call on the elected leaders, unions, and community organizations of the county to actually meet with each of the candidates and discuss the plans the candidates have for improving the Department. Ask them how they the role of Supervisor before proclaiming anyone the front runner or the best choice for the County based solely on sharing a common Campaign Manager.

This is truly a field of unknown candidates and it is up to the media and voters to ask the questions necessary to assess who is actually a representative of the Democratic Party and what it stands for.

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Pride Month Statement

MIAMI, FL (JUNE 1, 2024) – This month we celebrate the Pride and Diversity of our LGBTQ+ community.  We also commemorate the history of violent challenges that family, friends, and loved ones have faced just for trying to be who they were born to be at places like the Pulse Nightclub and Stone Wall; and through the assassination of leaders like Harvery Milk.  

We also reaffirm our love and support for the ongoing struggle that too many people continue to have to find acceptance around their family dinner tables and in their family’s homes.

George Washington called the United States the last great experiment for protecting human happiness and I believe it is important to remind ourselves that experiments involve trial and error. 

However, regardless of the frustrations that can arise from individuals and institutions we must maintain a dogged determination if we are going to achieve the true ideals of equality and freedom that escaped the grasps of the founders if not their imaginations.

Recent attacks on personal freedoms by the Republican party and their supporters have called into question these long fought victories and we may yet need to use the ballot box to codify these rights.  This is why it is imperative that I am elected as Miami-Dade County Supervisor of Elections. I am the only candidate with a plan to modernize the Department and the only candidate who will work with the LGBTQ+ community and like-minded Supervisors of Elections from around the state to the full extent legally possible so that these issues get on the ballot before people’s rights are taken away.

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Republican vs. Democrat

Why Voters Must Choose a True Democrat for Supervisor of Elections

For the last 25 years it has been very clear that Republicans in this state want to do everything they can to reduce the number of people who vote.  Voters in Miami-Dade face a real choice in the Democratic primary between myself (a lifelong democrat) and a candidate who has now changed his party affiliation having spent his entire career as a Republican politician in the Florida State House and then as a lobbyist and lawyer for Republican politicians (like Republican Congressman Carlos Gimenez).

Setting aside my opponents failure to explain his work with the GOP in 2000 during and after the election (he was elected to the Florida State House less than a year later) let’s look at his party’s record; including while he was a member:

  • Most recently the Republicans used their total control of state government to purge the vote by mail system because too many Democrats and Independents had registered and voted by mail in 2020.  This alone has cost Miami-Dade taxpayers millions through additional mailings and processing of new forms by the Department.
  • They have put obstacles in place so former felons can’t get their voting rights back despite this having been overwhelmingly approved by the voters of this state.  The cost spent on show trials for those whose rights were mistakenly restored would have more than paid for the fix to this issue.
  • They have worked to make it harder for groups like the league of women voters to register voters because of conspiracy theories about phantom and dead voters that have no basis in fact.
  • They have blocked the use of ballot drop boxes despite providing an even greater level of security and guarantee that every vote will be counted not to mention the cost to taxpayers for the postage to mail back ballots.

The Republicans are very good at calling Democrats names that inflame the passions of their voters and other low information groups but in reality the only rights they actually stand for are:

  • The rights of your employer to determine what your healthcare should be are more important than yours.
  • The rights of people to purchase actual weapons of war that have left so many innocent people dead.
  • The rights of their party to draw State and Federal districts without regard for the clearly stated position of the voters at the ballot box.

Let’s also not forget that they have spent millions targeting those organizations, corporations, and groups who dare stand up to their rights restricting agenda. Ultimately, the Republican party has been on the attack when it comes to taking away the rights of Floridians on issues like:

  • Healthcare where Republicans have refused billions in Federal money that has bent the cost curve and improved healthcare outcomes in the states where it was expanded.
  • Privacy on issues from your body to the books you want to read where Republicans in Tallahassee put their special interests above your rights.
  • Pharmaceutical access where Republicans have prioritized their religious or personal beliefs over your health in restricting access to medication your doctor prescribes to you.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result and unfortunately this is the treadmill that voters in Florida have put themselves on for the last 25 years.  

Register to vote as a Democrat in the primary this August 20th so you can vote for me as your Supervisor of Elections in Miami-Dade county.

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Siora Photography / Unsplash

5 Quick Questions with Arnie Weiss

Why did you decide to run now?

I received a notice from the Department of Elections in late March informing me that I was about to be purged from the voting roles.  After looking into the situation I discovered that there are systemic issues in how the Department contacts voters and very little consistency in how the Department is using methods besides the post office to contact voters.  I also discovered that none of the people running have any experience running any kind of technology focused organizations at a time when we need to be looking at how we can upgrade and improve the backend data systems and election processes.   

Why should voters choose you over the other candidates in the race?

Voters in this county deserve a supervisor who will actually have a plan for improving the department and actually know how to deliver instead of a lifelong Republican who was against electing a supervisor, because as he put it, “Political hacks are just not going to do a good job.” Of course that was when he was a Republican and was criticizing Democrats but now of course he has jumped parties to run for this job which to me is the definition of a political hack.

What will you do as Supervisor of Elections?

We need to make the ballot more accessible to everyone with a legal right to vote while also working to use technology to speed the processing time at polling places and securing the vote by mail process so all of the legal registered voters in the county can feel confident that we run the model for elections not only in the state of Florida but for the nation.  This includes working with the other agencies in the state so we can definitively identify to those who are trying to regain their voting rights what they need to do so we can approve their registration.

What do you say to Independents and how will you improve voter turnout in Miami-Dade for primaries?

We need to get voters to see that tuning out is not a higher level of consciousness but is ultimately the reason why they get stuck with the status quo. 

Being Independent is a cornerstone of what it means to be an American but in the State of Florida you are only giving up your right to help decide who will be on the ballot in November.  The party insiders are perfectly happy to have you give them all the power but the only way you are ever going to get closer to the candidate you want is if you register with a party and vote in their primary.

What is one way we can recruit new poll workers?

We should work with our High Schools to train Seniors and older Juniors with a specific interest in Civics, Government, and IT to work as poll workers on election day. 

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Bank Phrom / Unsplash

Full Candidate Statement from Arnold Benjamin “Arnie” Weiss on Entering the Race.

June 6, 2024

I am choosing to enter the race for Supervisor of Elections in Miami-Dade, because none of the current candidates have experience running any type of technology based organization or business.  I have over 25 years designing and developing solutions to securely collect, move, and store data by integrating off-the-shelf solutions that are required to be highly secure and always available.  

My experience working on live remote sports television for ABC, ESPN, and CBS (during which time I was a proud member of the IBEW) taught me the importance of being prepared and hitting deadlines. The broadcast went on the air when it was scheduled to start and not on our time or schedule and any adjustments we needed to make had to  happen in real time without or limiting with full effect, how that impacted the public.

While our method of voting on paper must continue (because it gives voters the ultimate level of confidence) we can and must improve the other processes and technology we employ so we can increase the confidence in our vote counting and audit systems. In addition, we can improve the speed with which ALL voters in the county get through election day by taking a fresh look at our early voting hours and how we can enable voters to vote anywhere in the county on election day just as we allow during early voting.  

We also need to address the issues of voter registration, party affiliation, and low turnout for primaries by highlighting to all of our voters that while being independent is a cornerstone of what it is to be an American; in the State of Florida being an independent means giving up your right to help decide who will be on the ballot when you show up to vote in November.  By doing this, as well as starting to engage voting age and near voting age eligible High School students to register to vote, we can improve the future of voting in Miami-Dade beyond just the performance of our systems and processes. 

Clearly, the people of Miami-Dade deserve more when you consider what is at stake and what this job pays. However, this is only possible when you elect someone like me who can actually take on the work of the existing supervisor and bring a vision for voting in Miami-Dade and the Miami-Dade County Department of Elections that will increase voter participation and confidence in the safety and integrity of all of the processes, systems and outcomes of our elections.

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Photo by Element5 Digital / Unsplash

7 Ways to Improve Voting in Miami-Dade

  • Move towards precinctless voting on Election Day. (We already do this for early voting and this would allow teachers, construction workers, and all citizens to have the flexibility to vote near or even at the place where they work (since many schools are precincts.)
  • Work to build the APIs, database, or middleware necessary to allow the Department to requalify people whose voting rights should be eligible for restoration or provide a definitive answer on what action needs to happen to allow for the requalification to occur. (This is simple development work.)
  • Integrate and deploy the same type of camera based solutions used by TSA and CBP to instantly confirm voter identities and greatly speed the onsite processing time so that people are to get in and out of polling places more quickly.
  • Upgrade the supporting infrastructure so we are able to better ensure voter confidence in results by retaining ballot images for the Federal standard of 11 months.
  • Reduce the Department’s reliance on the USPS as a means of communications due to delays and issues with the postal service (not to mention the incredibly large cost compared to that of using SMS and email).  
  • Work with our high schools to recruit Seniors and older Juniors to register to vote and to work as poll workers so we build an early pipeline.
  • Launch a voter education campaign so we reduce the number of unaffiliated voters.  We will do this by highlighting that being independent may be a cornerstone of being an American but in Florida it means giving up your right to complain about who is on the ballot in November.

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