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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Long lines awaited last-minute voters at some of the 50 early voting locations across Miami-Dade and Broward counties on the last day of early voting.
Voter turnout at polling locations in Miami-Dade was steady and ran ahead of previous midterm elections.
More than 500,000 people cast ballots in Miami-Dade. That number represents in-person early voting and mail-in ballots that have been returned.
But on the last day of early voting, hundreds waited for several hours at the North Miami Public Library.
“I did have a little concern but at the end of the day, votes will have to count,” Joas Laurent said.
A spokesperson with The Miami-Dade Elections Department said printers at the popular early voting site malfunctioned. It’s unclear what caused the problem.
The printers were meant to print ballots as soon as a voter’s identification card or document was scanned. But that was not happening for several hours.
A worker at the early voting site stated the printers stopped working around 1:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon. Officials confirmed they were up and running around 6 that night.
“This is a mess because they’re sitting here because the line is not moving,” Carline Paul said.
The county recorded North Miami Public Library as one of the busiest early voting sites. The Coral Gables location was also heavily used by people voting early.
“There has been absolutely no wait, here at least, except for about an hour yesterday there was a short wait,” Lisa Egizi said
In Miami Gardens, one voter told us what she did to do her part in keeping the line moving.
“To know who you’re voting for. Not just basically going off the sheet but having an understanding of what you’re actually voting for,” she said.
Just because in-person early voting has ended in Miami-Dade County, one voter has a message for the people who have yet to vote.
People just need to come out and vote and worry about everything else after that,” Laurant said.
In Broward County, people began making their way to the polls when the doors opened at 7 a.m.
Coral Ridge Mall is one of those early voting spots, and many people who were out casting their vote said they wanted to beat the busier times of the day.
“Do it early so you don’t have to wait in line or rush to go to work!” says Laura Thomas. She said it took her about 15 minutes total and encourages others to make their vote count.
“No matter whether you’re registered Republican or Democrat, just listen to both sides and vote for what you believe in and what your values are,” she says.
“People can’t complain if they don’t go out and vote,” says Marc Engelman, one of the early voters. “You have to give your opinion, and your opinion is your vote.”
As the sun set, voters continued to wrap around the outside of the Miramar Library.
The line overwhelming the early voting site leading to two-hour waits.
“I will wait as long as it takes to get my vote in. Hopefully, everyone feels the same way,” said Shantae Barr, the last voter of the night.
Hundreds of thousands of people have already voted in Broward by mail or early in-person voting.
The numbers, as of Sunday morning, show more than 231,000 people already cast their ballot in Broward.
That includes about 51,000 Republicans and 135,360 Democrats. Other votes were made up of those who said they had no party affiliation.
“I think people should take the time to do what’s important to them, but also important to the community that we live in,” Engelman explains.
Just after 9:30 p.m., the last early voter cast her ballot at the library in Miramar.
Waiting to vote until Tuesday? Here is what you need to know:
- CLICK HERE to see a SAMPLE BALLOT in Miami-Dade
- CLICK HERE to see a SAMPLE BALLOT in Broward
- CLICK HERE to see a SAMPLE BALLOT in Monroe
You can also vote in person on Election Day, November 6, at your assigned precinct from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.