Presidential election decided, but Florida left behind

(CBS News) MIAMI- The only mystery left in the presidential election is Florida. Votes there are still too close to project a winner.

Ninety-seven percent of the vote has been counted and there is only a 45,000-vote difference between Gov. Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama of the total 8 million votes cast.

Whoever wins Florida won't make a difference. Even if Gov. Romney were to win, it would not nearly be enough for him to take over 270 electoral votes.

There are still tens of thousands of absentee and provisional ballots still being counted.

Some voters in Miami waited up to six hours to cast their ballot.

"Is it worth it? No it's not worth it," one voter told CBS News."It's ridiculous. They didn't plan correctly."

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Miami-Dade was one of nine counties still tallying votes this morning. Election officials blamed high turnout and multi-page ballots that included 11 state constitutional amendments.

"There's three pages, front and back, which equals six pages, actually, of ballot," said Earl Lennard, the supervisor of elections in Hillsborogh County. "It takes a long time to process that ballot. It also takes a longer period of time for the voter to vote that ballot."

The vote count was complicated by 4.5 million early voting and absentee ballots filed statewide -- the most ever. In Tampa, thousands of absentee ballots were submitted just ahead of a 7 p.m. deadline

"Every vote does count, and we must count every vote," Lennard said. "We would rather do it right, than have to rush at 2:00 in the morning and not have it correctly done."

The Florida election won't be certified until November 20th, after county canvassing boards deliver their results and the deadline passes for military overseas ballots.

  • Elaine Quijano

    Elaine Quijano was named a CBS News correspondent in January 2010. Quijano reports for "CBS This Morning" and the "CBS Evening News," and contributes across all CBS News platforms. She is based in New York.