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Broward Elections And Voters' Rights, UM Workers On Reopening, Cruise Workers Stuck At Sea

Cruise ships are docked and lined up at PortMiami in Miami, Florida on Monday, May 4, 2020 as the industry remains shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Miami Herald
Cruise ships are docked and lined up at PortMiami in Miami, Florida on Monday, May 4, 2020 as the industry remains shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On the Aug. 17 edition of Sundial: Broward elections and everything you need to know before polls open Tuesday. Classes started today at the University of Miami and some professors are concerned about in-person learning. And we hear from a cruise ship worker still stranded at sea.

On this Monday, Aug. 17, episode of Sundial:

Broward Elections & Voting Rights

Florida’s August primary elections, which will take place Tuesday, have seen record numbers of early voting. More than 700,000 ballotshave already been cast in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade combined.

There are local, statewide and federal elections on ballots across South Florida’s four counties.

You turn to WLRN for reporting you can trust and stories that move our South Florida community forward. Your support makes it possible. Please donate now. Thank you.

“[Voting] is just like you’re getting on an airplane. Don’t leave the house without [your photo ID],” said Carlene Sawyer, ACLU Miami’s voting rights expert.

We spoke with Sawyer and WLRN’s Broward County reporter Caitie Switalski about voting processes for tomorrow’s primaries.

University of Miami Workers Worry About Reopening

Classes at the University of Miami began Monday and students have the option of taking classes in person, online, or a hybrid of both. However, many in the faculty say they didn’t get that option.

Nearly 600 people in the school’s teaching staff signed a petition calling for the university to give them the option to choose whether to teach in person or online. Other University of Miami workers, including janitors, cafeteria staff and non-faculty employees, also say those who are on the front lines were not consulted on the university’s decisions.

“We wanted to have the option to make that decision. We would have liked to have known that the options that were going to be offered to students were going to be extended to them before they actually went out in a video to parents and students,” says Yolanda Martinez-San Miguel, a professor and chair at the university’s Department of Modern Languages and Literatures.

We spoke with Professor Martinez-San Miguel about how she and her colleagues feel about going back to school.

Cruise Ship Workers Still Stranded At Sea

At the beginning of the pandemic, cruise ships were hotspots for the spread of COVID-19 and the politics for passengers and crew to return home varied greatly from country to country.

Thousands of crew members are still stuck aboard those ships. Gan, who asked not to use his last name, has been consigned to different Carnival Cruise ships since January and has been unable to return to his family in Mauritius due to strict repatriation rules.

“Gan’s situation on a cruise ship is extremely common. We’re actually now seeing people who have been working throughout these few months, whose contracts are now ending, having trouble getting home,” said the Miami Herald’s Taylor Dolven, who found that these stranded employees are not receiving pay for their work.

“It’s also really important to note that people who are stuck in their place of work on these cruise ships are not being paid, including Gan.”

We spoke with Gan about his experiences and with Dolven about the issues many stranded cruise workers have encountered.

Leslie Ovalle Atkinson is the former lead producer behind Sundial. As a multimedia producer, she also worked on visual and digital storytelling.