FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Under gloomy skies drizzling rain across the county, the primary election in Broward got off to a sunny start.
There were no serious problems reported when the county’s 432 polling place opened at 7 a.m. They will stay open until 7 p.m.
“I vote every single time, I always do, from the day that I was allowed to vote,” said Bobbi Aravuori who braved a light shower. “My father is from Finland and he loved America. He said you vote no matter what it takes, go get to the polls and vote.”
And that she did.
“It’s just important to vote,” said voter Debbie Sandler. “These elections are more important than people realize, I think.”
Judging from early voting, including mailed ballots, there has been a lot of voter interest. More than 120,000 votes cast already – nearly double from four years ago.
“Bet you we must have had in Broward County we probably had 100 forms of one kind or another. And every candidate put themselves out there to participate in each of those forms to get before different groups of people,” said Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes.
Since Florida is a closed primary state, only voters who are registered members of a political party may vote for their respective party’s candidates in the primary. Voters must cast their ballots at their precincts polling station. Not sure where that is, then Click Here.
Voters will need to bring a valid ID that has their name, a photograph and a signature. Acceptable forms of ID include: Florida Driver License, Florida Identification card issued by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, United States Passport, Debit or Credit Card, Military Identification, Student Identification, Retirement Center Identification, Public Assistance Identification, Neighborhood Association Identification, Florida concealed-weapon license, Veteran Health Identification Card issued by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, or Government issued employee identification.
While the current Voter Information Card is not required to vote, it can help expedite the check-in process, so bringing it is always encouraged.
One of the most watched races in the county involves U.S. House Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz who faces challenger Nova Southeastern University law professor Tim Canova.
Wasserman Schultz has never had a serious challenger since winning the House seat in 2005. Canova is hoping for an upset.
“I am very confident. We have a lot of momentum. We’ve got hundreds of volunteers, field workers and field organizers, who have been pounding the pavement for weeks, knocking on ten thousand doors a week. It’s a great grass roots campaign,” said Canova.
Wasserman Schultz doesn’t think the email scandal that cost her the Chair of the Democratic National Committee will be a major factor when voters cast their ballots.
“People across South Florida care about jobs, they care about Social Security, they care about having a representative that is going to be their voice and is going to have their back. That political extraneous stuff is not part of their life,” said Wasserman Schultz.
Many registered voters have already cast their ballots.
Over 120,000 voters in Broward voted early (43,166) or sent their ballot in by mail (77,228).
Just after 7 p.m., absentee ballots and early voting results will be posted. Election day precinct results will begin being posted around 8 p.m. and then updated as the votes are tallied.