County has first Black supervisor of elections

admin | 1/25/2012, 7:30 a.m.

Penelope Townsley makes history

Last year Penelope Townsley, 55, made history by becoming the first Black woman to serve as the supervisor of elections for Miami-Dade County. Townsley was appointed on the tail end of 2011. She has held the position for nearly three and a half months. In one word I am honored to hold this position, she said. Before I could get over the excitement of having the opportunity to serve our County as the supervisor of elections I read a news article that referred to me as the First African-American" to hold the position of supervisor of elections in Miami-Dade County, that made me extremely proud At the top of Townsleys short list is the upcoming 2012 election. The most important thing on my agenda right now is the 2012 election, she said. Miami-Dade County is the largest county with the largest number of registered voters in the state. Carrying out an election with a high level of transparency and accuracy is my number one goal. Insuring that this election is just as successful as previous years is a commitment that I have to the voters of Miami-Dade County. With 1,215,939 registered voters in the County, Townsley has her hands full but her ultimate goal is protecting the right to vote. Our goal is to be election ready, she said. By election ready I mean encouraging all eligible citizens to register to vote, making sure they understand the three ways to vote andmaking sure they exercise their right and get out and vote. The Republican presidential primary is only open to GOP(grand old party) voters. Two charter amendments on the ballot are open to all voters. Early voting will be open for seven days from 7-7 p.m. Itbegan last Saturday, January 21st and will end on Saturday, January 28th. Miami-Dade voting locations: Lemon City Library, 430 NE 61st Street; Model City Library at Caleb Center, 2211 NW 54th Street; North Dade Regional Library, 2455 NW 183rd Street; and Stephen P. Clark Govt Center, 111 NW 1st St. By Randy Grice rgrice@miamitimesonline.com