Sun Life Stadium referendum votes will be counted

The Miami Dolphins can't get public funding for renovations, but they'll find out how voters felt anyway

By Glenna Milberg - Reporter

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. - State legislators shot down the Miami Dolphins' plans to use public money to renovate Sun Life Stadium, but Miami-Dade County will soon find out how its taxpayers really felt about the issue.

Though the special election that was scheduled for May 14 has been cancelled, the county will vote nearly 60,000 ballots that were already submitted.

In the five days of early voting, more than 7,000 people cast ballots. Another 52,000 submitted absentee ballots.

"The election attorney has told us that anything that was cast up til Friday will be made public because it's public record," Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez explained Tuesday.

The tally will be the first and only public record of whether county voters supported or opposed raising the bed tax to subsidize the renovation of Sun Life Stadium.

The Dolphins are optimistic that the results will show that voters were in favor of the renovations.

"We definitely saw the momentum in our direction," Dolphins CEO Mike Dee told Local 10's Glenna Milberg. "The referendum was definitely winnable and our polls showed us ahead."

The team's internal voting defied other polls that indicated three of four voters opposed the public subsidy.

Dolphins owner Steve Ross invested $5 million dollars to pay for the election and an additional $1 million for an online marketing campaign to sway voter opinion.

The results of that tally are expected to be released by May 15.

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