Election Day has arrived, and while the big battle remains Scott versus Crist and whether you want to vote for medical marijuana, there are also some pretty important local races going down you may want to be aware of.
While voting can be a time-consuming affair, no one should just vote for the things he knows and then take a wild guess with everything else (we know you do that... don't deny it!).
But we're here to help. Here are a few local elections you should know about, along with some info on each race to help you make a decision. We also put in a sample ballot for you to peruse, because we're cool like that. So take a gander and get informed before you head to the polls today.
The State Rep Versus the Ventriloquist/Sex Shop Employee
District 105, which includes parts of Miramar, the southern part of Collier County, and the northeastern part of Miami-Dade County, features a race between state Rep. Carlos Trujillo (R) and Carlos A. Pereira, a Venezuelan man who has a ventriloquist act with a frog puppet named Gochirila. Oh, and he once worked at Hollywood Spice.
The district is largely Hispanic, with an overall population of 157,000.
Trujillo, the incumbent, has been in politics since 2010 and has held the District 105 office since first being elected in 2012.
No word if Pereira will have Gochirila vote for bills and measures in his place, should he (they?) be elected.
Judicial Court, Group 16: Dennis Bailey Versus Rhoda Sokoloff
This one is for an open judicial seat between two lawyers looking to make judges. Here's the tale of the tape:
Sokoloff is in her third race with an area of expertise in family law, dependency, and juvenile cases.
Bailey, meanwhile, has had slightly more experience, working as a prosecutor in civil and criminal law. Bailey comes in a more seasoned lawyer, which might give him an edge over Sokoloff for those who believe experience trumps all else.
Judicial Court, Group 27: Ian J. Richards Versus Claudia Robinson
Richards, the incumbent, has made a name for himself as a judge who cracks down on domestic violence. He's also been active in helping educate high school students on judicial manners by orchestrating mock trials and a website that helps students interested in the law.
Fourth District Court of Appeals
This part of the ballot will ask if the voter would like to retain Judges Alan O. Forst, Mark W. Kilngersmith, W. Matthew Stevenson, and Martha C. Warner.
It would appear that all four judges have led distinguished and polished careers. More important, none of them has ever gotten pulled over for DUI or crashed into police cruisers after taking sleeping pills. So, there's that.
You can read their opinions here for a more in-depth look at their individual rulings.
Education Bond: Funding Improvement for Broward Schools
Here voters are being asked to decide on a referendum that would help fund safety projects for public schools in Broward. Taxpayers are being asked to foot the $800 million bill that will help repair building safety issues, such as drainage issues, windows, and roofs in disrepair. The funds would also be used to provide security cameras for schools.
If the referendum is passed by voters, says Citizens for Safe and Modern Schools in a news release, the $800 million will "cover the district's most critical capital projects identified through an independent needs assessment of Broward County schools."