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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Candidate for Governor, Charlie Crist, had an emergency motion to extend the voting hours in Broward County until 9 p.m. denied by a judge Tuesday night.
A CBS4 photographer was in the courtroom when the decision was made.
The judge felt it was too late to reopen polls and denied the request.
“Some of this occurred early this morning and some of the voting did not take place till 8:45. It’s now 7:30 at night. When did you file this petition and why did you wait so late if this was an emergency,” asked Judge Jack Tuter.
The Crist camp claimed “systemic breakdowns made it difficult for voters to cast regular ballots.” They were told that they could not vote in a precinct to which they had moved
The motion from the Crist campaign cited the following issues as reason to extend the voting hours:
- The polling station located at the Croissant Park Elementary School was offline for over an hour and a half this morning – this caused major delays and impacted voters looking to cast a ballot before work.
- EVID malfunctions in precincts throughout the county caused confusion among voters who were unable to update their address at polling precincts. Those voters were bounced between local precincts and SOE headquarters – ultimately, the system did not register them and they were unable to cast regular ballots.
- The delay and confusion caused by those EVID malfunctions compounded county-wide confusion related to recent re-precincting. We have reports in many cases that voters who were confused about their proper polling location were provided conflicting information and, in many cases, simply gave up attempting to cast a regular ballot.
Only the Governor can officially approve extending voting hours.
In Pembroke Pines, frustrated voters said they were shuffled around between precincts because of confusion about changes in polling locations. Another issue cited in the emergency motion filed by Crist a power problem with a machine at Croissant Park Elementary School they claimed created a delay.
But Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes said no voters were turned away because of any issues.
“Our standard procedure is when the last voter in line votes, then polls close,” said Snipes.
In 2004, Jeb Bush extended voting hours when it was requested, and in 2008 Crist extended voting hours when it was requested.
In 2012, Governor Scott refused to extend voting hours when it was requested.
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