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Making history – Election coverage in Florida

Long lines yet few glitches reported in Florida

MIAMI – Despite almost two weeks of early voting, the lines at Florida polling sites, especially those in large metro areas, have been long. But it was foreseen in this key battleground state, as election officials have predicted a historical turnout.

The polls opened here in the Sunshine State at 7 a.m. and will close at 7 p.m. In the Miami-Dade area, wait times are running one to three hours, but in many less-populous counties, voters are in-and-out within 10 minutes. In the busier polling places, a lot of folks got up well before the sun to get a head start in the lines.

While no major problems have surfaced yet – remember, this state is infamous for Election Day woes – there have been reports, at least in the Miami-Dade area, of malfunctions with voter verification machines. There have also been instances of polling places opening late.

Early voting ran from Oct. 20 to Oct. 31, and some 2.6 million cast their ballots early, a spokesperson from Florida’s Division of Elections told Indian Country Today. The lines at many polling places during this period exceeded expectations, with some voters who could not wait until today standing in lines for more than three hours.

With about 18 million residents, Florida is the nation’s fourth most populous state. It is home to two tribes: the Seminole and Miccosukee. There are 35,555 registered American Indian voters, according to the Division of Election.

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Still no major snags for Florida voters

Miami – More than half-way through Election Day, Florida’s polling places are reporting few problems, with none of them major. They are, however, still seeing hoards of voters, so it is looking like the record turnout predictions will be on target.

Some of the minor issues that Indian Country Today has learned about include unprinted ballots and jammed phone lines in Hillsborough County. At a polling place in the Jacksonville area, a few poll watchers had to be disciplined for interacting with voters. And in many precincts, there have been the typical parking problems.

While the weather has been cool and gloomy in much of the Sunshine State, it is not keeping voters from going out and voting in this presidential election. Traffic at the polls, in fact, will get even heavier in the late afternoon hours after people leave work.

The polls close at 7 pm.

Indian Country Today contacted the Seminole and Miccosukee tribes for comment. The former could not be reached and the latter declined to comment on the election.