After seven pressure-packed days, the Miami-Dade county’s recount of three very close elections was complete, all thanks to Elections Supervisor Christina White. She managed a brisk, clean, efficient operation which is usually the opposite with Florida’s history on elections.
Part of White’s success stems from her assumption that in an election, anything that can go wrong will go wrong. “She’s a rock star,” said Miami lawyer J.C. Planas, a former Republican state lawmaker who has worked on multiple Florida recounts. “Her attention to detail, her attention to everything makes her the best supervisor in Florida and the best one we’ve ever had in Miami.”
Less than 48 hours after the Election Day polls closed, White told the canvassing board she expected a statewide recount would be ordered because of thin margins in the races. That Thursday night, Nov. 8, her staff began separating the first page.
When Tallahassee officially declared a recount on Saturday, Miami-Dade was able to begin processing the ballots and was halfway done with its entire machine recount by Monday. At the same time, Broward was still separating ballots and hadn’t even started its recount.
Mayor Carlos Gimenez appointed White supervisor in 2015 with a wary eye on the 2016 presidential election. White, who had been climbing through the ranks of the elections department since 2006, applied the lessons learned in 2012.
White graduated from Florida International University with an environmental science degree. “I thought I’d be a scientist,” said White. “I was recruited to work in the county’s environmental resources management department as a public information officer and wound up moving to elections.”
White oversees the largest elections operation in Florida and seventh-largest in the nation. Her office administers 20 elections per year, serves 1.4 million registered voters and supervises 783 precincts. She manages 99 full-time employees, 1,500 temporary employees, 6,000 poll workers and a $30 million annual budget.
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