MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Election Day in South Florida is running smooth with no reports of long lines or issues. More than one million voters cast ballots either by mail or during the two-week early voting period which may be why many polling locations across the county were pretty quiet on Tuesday.
Unlike early voting, Election Day voters must go to their assigned precinct. There are 866 polling stations in the county.
Make sure to bring a photo ID with a signature, like a driver’s license or a passport.
Polls are open until 7 p.m. Anyone in line before 7 p.m. will be allowed to vote.
“Just to doing my civic duty as a citizen and be number one in line,” said a man standing first in line at 6 a.m. at a polling station in west Miami-Dade.
Fernando Rivera also lined up early, choosing to skip early voting and instead cast his ballot on Election Day.
“There’s a lot at stake, I would say,” said Rivera.
Other voters said they have election fatigue and are happy this is all winding down. Others are voting for the first time and are eager to have their voice heard.
“I’m actually kind of tired hearing about it so I just want to move forward with whoever ends up being the president,” said one voter.
‘To be honest, last election I did not vote but I think it’s important because I think there’s things going on. We may need a change, we might not, but I think people need to exercise their opinion,” said another voter.
Miami-Dade Supervisor of Elections Christina White expects about 200-thousand people to vote in person on Tuesday.
“I just feel more confident when I see my ballot go into the machine and know my vote has been counted,” said Allison Ibarra who voted with her son at Kendale Lakes Elementary.
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When it’s all said and done, election officials expect a record 80% of all registered voters in Miami-Dade to cast a ballot.
As the state’s largest county, Miami-Dade could be a potential deal-breaker for one of the presidential candidates.
“All eyes are on Miami-Dade County to see what our overall turnout is and to see how close Trump can get to Biden here,” Sean Foreman, a professor of Political Science at Barry University.
Foreman points out Florida voters normally choose their winner by a razor-thin margin. That makes turnout key in the state’s most populous county.
“We expect Biden to win Miami-Dade County. The issue is by how much. If Trump can keep it closer in Miami-Dade he has a better chance of winning Florida overall. And we know Donald Trump needs to win Florida to win the presidency,” he said.
Those with ‘Vote-by-Mail’ ballots can still drop them off at four locations in the county. The Elections Department’s main office at 2700 NW 87th Avenue in Doral, the Stephen P. Clark Center at 111 NW 1st Street in Miami, the North Dade Regional Library at 2455 NW 183rd Street in Miami Gardens, and the South Dade Regional Library at 10750 SW 211th Street in Cutler Bay.
Voters who have a ‘Vote-by-Mail’ ballot but have decided to vote in person should bring it to their polling station where it will be canceled.
‘Vote-by-Mail’ ballots must be at the election department office by 7 p.m. to be counted.