FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – It’s a record breaking year for absentee ballot voting in Broward County.
As of early Monday morning, more than 145,000 people voted absentee. And that was before hundreds more lined up outside the Voting Equipment Center in Lauderhill to cast their absentee ballot.
“It was a record,” said Elections Supervisor Dr. Brenda C. Snipes. “Typically we don’t have that level of request on this day.”
Many voters said they arrived with a specific appointment to pick up their ballots, however because of the volume of voters the appointments got pushed back.
Jeff McIntosh said his wife just had surgery and voting absentee is the only way she can vote.
“We called in early this morning to request the ballots and we were told to come in at 4 to pick them up and they weren’t ready,” he told CBS 4’s Carey Codd. “So we waited 2 hours and 15 minutes in line to get the ballots.”
McIntosh didn’t mind the wait but others did.
“I really want to vote but I’m sick,” said Lynn Heath. “I just got out of the hospital and i’m trying to come put my vote in. It’s just one vote but I think it does matter. I’m getting discouraged. I don’t want to wait another 2 hours.”
Dr. Snipes said she understands that people are frustrated by the long lines but the county is dealing with enormous turnout.
In addition to the 145,881 voters who voted absentee another 248,534 people voted early in Broward.
“I thank them for their patience,” she said. “This is a very big election. Everybody wants to be involved and sometimes the procedures don’t go smoothly as you would like.”
All day people dropped off ballots or waited to get them. Some argued that the state should have extended early voting. Others said the counties should have been more prepared.
But everyone said they are hoping for a controversy free election day.
“A lot of our forefathers have bled so we have the right to vote,” said Irvin Green. “It’s a special day. I can’t wait to see the outcome.”
Dr. Snipes said the Canvassing Board tossed out 700 absentee ballots because the ballots were not signed. That is a tiny percentage of the more than 145-thousand absentee ballots cast but it is a reminder to people to make sure you sign your absentee ballots before turning them in by 7 o’clock tomorrow.
For the first time ever Broward County will offer in person absentee ballot voting tomorrow on Election Day. It will take place at the Voting Equipment Center at 1501 NW 40 Avenue in Lauderhill beginning at 8 am.
The move is part of a settlement with the Democratic Party over early voting. However, the elections office is encouraging people to vote at their polling place. They say with so many people voting early the lines at the precincts shouldn’t be too bad.