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Early Voters Met With Long Lines

MIAMI (CBS4) – Voters were faced with long lines again on Sunday at some polling stations as thousands turned out to cast their ballots in the second day of early voting.

On Saturday elections officials said they were not surprised and were as prepared as they could be for what might be the biggest early voting turnout in South Florida history.

The wait time was six hours at some polling stations and when darkness fell early voters kept on coming. In Miami-Dade more than 22,000 people voted on Saturday, almost twice as many as those who voted on the first day of early voting in 2008.

Well, I think I'm prepared to vote and I've done my homework and I'll be quick," said Elizabeth Halase.

At the Miami-Dade elections department website, wait times ranged from 45 minutes to more than 5 hours. Broward voters experienced similar wait times.


At the Coral Reef Library in South Miami on Saturday a 5 1/2 hour wait was typical. It took Romar Tores more than an hour to vote in downtown Miami.

"Does that bother you," asked CBS4's Gary Nelson.

"Of course not! I would wait two or three hours, I don't care as long as i can vote," replied Tores.

Some voters, like Eduardo Rivera, came prepared with a chairs, water and umbrella.

"I've been here for a couple of hours and it's worth it. To vote is important," said Rivera.

Voters were passionate about who they voted for.

"I don't think Obama has done enough, and I don't want to give him a second chance not to do enough," said Natasha Medina, who cast her ballot for Romney.
An Obama supporter said he's gotten a raw deal.

"I believe in what he's doing. The mess he's got in, he didn't make it. He's trying to clean it up," said Lisa Stephens.

Early voting might bode best for the president. Working people in his base might not be able to take time off Election Day.

If you plan on voting early, visit your county's election websites, read the ballot and check estimated waiting times. The shortest line might not be at the voting site closest to your house.

Another way to cast your vote early is by absentee ballot.

In Miami-Dade, of the 253,406 absentee ballots requested, 102,934 have been returned. In Broward, out of the 209,828 absentee ballots requested, 60,975 have been returned. In Monroe County, 7,699 absentee ballots.

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