By Frances Wang

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Despite the weekend rain, early voting locations in Miami-Dade saw a steady stream of voters ready to cast their ballots.

Some of the busiest early voting sites were the North Dade Regional Library, the Westchester Library, and the South Dade Library.

On Monday, at the Lemon City Library branch in Little Haiti, some of those waiting in line to vote early were doing so for the first time.

“I never vote early. I always vote on the date,” said Cristina Corria, who became an American citizen 30 years ago. “This is the most important election, it will define what America will be after this election.”

For some of those in line, the coronavirus pandemic played a role in their decision.

“It’s partly the pandemic, because of what’s going on with Florid I wanted to make sure my vote got counted,” said Rita Keelor.

Many apparently feel the same way. In just a week, Miami-Dade Supervisor of Elections Christina White said they are seeing record numbers.

“We are already at a 42 percent voter turnout which is certainly historic,” she said. “At this point in time, we have had a record number of people taking advantage of vote-by-mail and early voting.”

White said her office is expecting more voters in the county overall this election year.

“A typical presidential election in Miami-Dade is somewhere between 70 and 72 percent. We’ve been projecting that the turnout will be higher, somewhere around 80 (percent). Right now we are at the same pace as previous elections. We are ready for the turnout.”

With in-person early voting ending this Sunday, White emphasized that now is the time to go.

“My suggestion is the sooner you go, the better off you’ll be. The lines tend to get heavier with each passing day. Saturday and Sunday are the heaviest days so take advantage of voting earlier this week and you’ll be better off for it,” she said.

For those interested, the county’s election department posts voting wait times on its website.

Frances Wang

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