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At Miami Polling Sites, Long Lines, Lengthy Waits, But No "Major Issues" So Far

An imposing line at a Miami Shores precinct this morning.
An imposing line at a Miami Shores precinct this morning.
via @NewspaperVideo's Twitter

At 7 a.m. this morning, 829 polling sites opened in schools, storefronts and churches around Miami-Dade County. And despite the fact that almost half of likely Florida voters have already cast ballots, imposing lines quickly formed, snaking out front doors and down sidewalks -- and forcing some to abandon their election plans so they could get to work.

Still, election officials say presidential voting is running as smoothly as possible so far. "We're going to see long lines because voters are enthusiastic," Christina White, deputy supervisor at Miami-Dade County Elections tells Riptide.


Wait times have varied wildly around the county so far, based on online reports. The Miami Herald's Kathleen McGregory reports on Twitter that some voters cast ballots in less than half an hour at City Hall in Coconut Grove.

But photos from Liberty City to Miami Shores to Sunny Isles show long lines stretching out of the polling places.

Thanks to an absurdly long ballot -- the handiwork of Florida's GOP-dominated Legislature, which tacked on 11 lengthy constitutional amendments -- voters can't just pop in, fill in a bubble for Mitt or Barry, and then move on.

But White says early reports that some poll places were running short on ballots or on voting booths were incorrect, adding she's heard no reports so far of "major issues."

"We've deployed the maximum equipment possible at every site," she says. "In many places, we have space limitations."

Here are some scenes culled from Twitter:

Another line in Miami Shores.
Another line in Miami Shores.
via @CBSMiami's Twitter
A long line in Liberty City
A long line in Liberty City
via @LizRoldanCBS4's Twitter
A truly Miami-style voting line, in Sunny Isles
A truly Miami-style voting line, in Sunny Isles
via @AdamBeasley's Twitter
The wait for absentee ballots in Doral.
The wait for absentee ballots in Doral.
via @doug_hanks Twitter

Have any election day horror stories? Share them in the comments or tweet us @MiamiNewTimes. We'll keep this post updated as voting continues today.


Update, 10:30 a.m. There's at least one neighborhood in Miami immune to hours-long voting waits: South Beach.

Perhaps most voters cast absentees or early ballots. More likely: most neighbors around here are either sleeping off a night at Mansion, baking in the sun completely oblivious to the fact that it's Election Day, or are German DJs who can't vote in the States.

Either way, this was the scene at Fienberg Fisher Elementary School:

South Beach only does lines for clubs.
South Beach only does lines for clubs.
photo by Tim Elfrink

Inside the doors, about 15 voters were filling out ballots in voting booths, on folding chairs or sitting along the walls. Total time to cast a ballot: About 15 minutes. 
 
Life is good in SoBe.

Update 10:40  It's a world of difference in Edgewater, where New Times web editor Jose Duran found a three-hour line outside of Cameron House:

At Miami Polling Sites, Long Lines, Lengthy Waits, But No "Major Issues" So Far

   

Update 12:09 New Times fellow Jon Tayler reports from Trinity Cathedral Hall at 14th St. and Biscayne Boulevard, where the line stretches out of the church and well into the parking lot. 

No poll workers have given any official wait times, but Tayler estimates the full wait will easily take two hours. 

Two hours to vote downtown.
Two hours to vote downtown.
photo by Jon Tayler


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