- Jul 14, 2011
- Reaction score
- Native America
By Amanda Terkel
WASHINGTON -- Once again, Florida and its problems at the polls are at the center of an election.
Early voting is supposed to make it easier for people to carry out their constitutional right. Tuesdays are notoriously inconvenient to take off work, so many states have given voters the option of turning out on weekends or other weekdays in the run-up to Election Day.
But in Florida this year, it has been a nightmare for voters, who have faced record wait times, long lines in the sun and a Republican governor, Rick Scott, who has refused to budge and extend early voting hours.
"People are getting out to vote. That's what's very good," said Scott.
People are getting out to vote -- but many of them are having to wait in line for three or four hours to do so. One contributor to DailyKos claimed it took 9 hours to vote. In Miami-Dade on Saturday, people who had gotten in line by 7:00 p.m. were allowed to vote; the last person wasn't checked in until 1 a.m., meaning it took some individuals six hours to cast a ballot.
"We're looking at an election meltdown that is eerily similar to 2000, minus the hanging chads," said Dan Smith, a political science professor at the University of Florida.
Miami-Dade attempted to deal with the problem on Sunday by allowing voters to cast absentee ballots in person between 1:00 and 5:00 p.m. However, after just two hours, the Miami-Dade elections department shut down the location after too many people showed up. People outside the locked doors were reportedly screaming, "We want to vote!"
And if getting turned away from the polls weren't enough of an indignity, some of those 180 people ended up getting their cars towed from the parking lot across the street, according to a Miami Herald reporter.
More: Florida Early Voting Fiasco: Voters Wait For Hours At Polls As Rick Scott Refuses To Budge