Reporting Maggie Newland
FT. LAUDERDALE (CBS4) – On the last day of early voting in Broward County, many said the lines were the longest they’d seen all week. The wait depended in large part on where people voted and what time.
In Tamarac the last voter left the polls shortly after 11 p.m. Some voters reported four and a half hour waits and at one point the wait time was listed as seven hours.
“As long as it takes, I’m here to vote,” said Tamika Dixon who added, “The sun’s not out, they’re being very gracious giving us chairs, water, candy.”
The last voter in line, Joe Quaider, didn’t mind the wait at all.
“Voting is a privilege and there are a lot of people who have died for our right to vote so an inconvenience of six or eight or ten or 12 hours is not a big deal,” said Quaider.
The wait times at most Broward polls ranged from one to four hours. In Pompano Beach in the morning, the wait was less than an hour and some in Lauderhill managed to get in and out even more quickly.
“It moves pretty fast,” said Lemuel Hall who reported only about a half hour wait to cast his ballot. He has to work Tuesday and wanted to make sure his vote counted.
John Gargotta wanted to cast his vote to avoid Election Day lines. He did his homework before heading to the polls.
“I went on the website to check it out. This [Lauderhill] was one of the lower ones. They were right on time they said an hour and a half that’s good,” said Gargotta.
Broward County Supervisor of Elections, Dr. Brenda C. Snipes, said Broward County early voting was on pace to rival 2008 numbers even though Floridians have eight days of early voting this year, down from 14 during the last presidential election.
For Broward the early voting totals through November 2nd, which did not include the last day of early voting, stood at 210,236 early voters. In 2008, 253,187 voters cast ballots early in Broward. This year voters have already surpassed 2004 early voting totals when 176,194 people voted early in Broward County.
Snipes said for the most part, the voting process has gone smoothly in her county.
“I don’t think we’ve had any major issues that are going to cause a meltdown or anything. Our numbers are looking good our participation is outstanding and I’m just waiting to see what it’s like on Tuesday,” she said.