WASHINGTON – Things have been pretty quiet around Miami Beach the past few days. No ballot recounts, no lawyers and no allegations of voting irregularities. The press has all but disappeared too.
In Miami Beach, Md., that is.
While Florida election officials bake under the glare of the national spotlight, their counterparts in Baltimore County — who oversee voting in Maryland’s Miami Beach Park area — said they have not heard any mention of an election recount, voter fraud or ballot confusion.
In fact the tiny 0.1-mile beach didn’t even have its own polling place; the closest spots were a few miles down the road, past Bowleys Quarters in Middle River.
Miami Beach Park is “pretty passively used this time of year,” said Patrick McGregor, a spokesman for the Baltimore County Recreation and Parks Department.
“I’d be surprised if there is anyone out there now. It’s not heavily used, maybe some of the neighbors are there,” McGregor said.
Baltimore County Board of Elections officials also said they have not heard a peep from Miami Beach recently.
“It’s been pretty quiet around here,” said Rena Waggoner, an official in the elections office. “We haven’t heard if people are stealing (ballots) . no one has demanded a recount.”
No one in the state’s Republican or Democratic parties will demand a recount, said officials there, who added that they have more pressing concerns right now than the vote on the Middle River peninsula, just south of the Aberdeen Proving Ground.
The returns from Miami Beach area are slightly off from results in the rest of the state.
Waggoner said Vice President Al Gore captured 53.42 percent vote in the three precincts closest to the beach, compared to 57 percent that the Democratic nominee won statewide. Republican nominee George W. Bush took 42.81 percent of the almost 4,000 votes cast in those three polling places and Green Party candidate Ralph Nader netted 2.85 percent out of the vote.
Statewide, Bush had 40 percent and Nader 3 percent of the vote.
Voters in Oregon — the single polling place in Baltimore County’s Oregon Ridge, that is — went overwhelmingly for Bush, unlike the state of Oregon, which is still too close to call in the presidential race. Elections officials in the state of Oregon are still waiting for mailed ballots to arrive before they can finalize their count.
So, too, are officials in Baltimore County. Waggoner noted that the county has about 12,000 absentee ballots to count.
“The absentee ballots could make a difference,” she said.
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