Last year, Florida’s Republican dominated legislature “rolled back the number of early-voting days from a maximum of 14 days to eight days.” The result? Floridians are finding it much more difficult to vote, with voters in some counties waiting in line for hours:
Long lines were reported across the state, including a six-hour wait time at one early-voting site in Miami-Dade County. Monroe County Supervisor of Elections Harry Sawyer asked for more early-voting time, but was told by state officials that no emergency existed to justify an extension.
“As state officials, we are bound to follow the law,” Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner wrote Sawyer.
James Colimon was waiting in line at the early voting site at the Winter Park library in Orange County but he had to leave two and a half hours later to pick up his daughter.
Florida’s Republican Governor, Rick Scott, has refused to extend early voting hours to accomidate more votes. In response, Miami-Dade County will allow in-person absentee balloting on Sunday from 1PM to 5PM.
Further, the Florida Democratic Party has filed a lawsuit to force Governor Scott to extend the early voting period. Republican Governors Jeb Bush and Charlie Crist extended early voting hours in response to record turnout.
In Miami-Dade yesterday, some voters in line at 7PM didn’t get to vote until 1AM.