Election Day: Downtown Miami Shores Low on McCain Supporters

By 6:45 a.m., the line curled around the block at a precinct in downtown Miami Shores, one of the liberal districts that gay activists targeted as likely to vote against the anti-gay marriage amendment to the state constitution. Steve Hagen was there on behalf of the pro-gay-rights group, Save Dade, handing out flyers.

“One guy said I don’t want any of you people near me,” he reported. “All in all, though, pretty peaceful.”

Before 7 a.m., I sure as hell hope so.

It took me about 1.5 hours to vote. Shores councilman Steve Loffredo was in line. So was a guy named Ed, who arrived at 6:40 and brought a chair because, he said, “I had knee surgery and I figured I’d need to sit down during the wait.” Obama activist Cesar Chacon set up a tent with seats so he could sit down and rest when not politicking for his candidate. “I’ll be here the whole day,” he said. No McCain supporters in sight.

I spent the time in line talking Cuban-American politics with Alex, formerly of the well-regarded Stuck on the Palmetto blog, who was voting in only his second presidential election. Also present: his wife Michelle and his mom Raquel, who was voting for the first time since arriving from Cuba.

Raquel wouldn’t divulge whom she supported -- “secret,” she said -- but Alex said he believes the election will forever change South Florida’s political landscape and will eventually make things very difficult for Raul Castro in Cuba. “Obama and the Democrats will allow more trips and money to families,” he said. “That will hurt Raul in the long run.”

Hallelujah to that!

-- Chuck Strouse

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