I just voted in South Florida! After multiple ‘attempts’ we completed our voting mission.
In Florida there are a few options for voting; absentee, early, and on election day at the polls.
We don’t have the option to vote on election day due to my husband’s work schedule. We don’t have the option to go separate as we have a toddler to wrangle. My husband works on Tuesday from 7am-7pm. The exact hours the polls are open. He inquired about going in late or leaving early in order to vote on election day and their response was like ‘what?, no, we don’t do that here, give you time off to vote’. It would be really awesome to have election day as a national holiday and work during a holiday we currently get off; like Christmas. Ok just kidding not Christmas but maybe Columbus day or some other day that the majority of people get off work.
We attempted to vote early. Our closest vote early location was actually right by our house. Early voting lasted from Saturday, October 27, 2012 through Saturday, November 3, 2012 between 7 am and 7pm. The first day of early voting I was out running in the morning and ran by a huge line of people lined up around the building. I couldn’t believe they were all waiting for early voting. Throughout the week as we did errands, drove by, or walked by there was always a line all the way around the building. We tried waiting in the line various times but every time something came up and we could not continue waiting. After talking to several people we estimated that it would have taken 3.5 hours to wait in line to vote.
In Palm Beach County there are REP:248,944 DEM:386,692 Other:234,640 registered voters as of 11/05/2012 and I guess the 14 locations to vote early for a week were not enough for the number of people that wanted to vote. A friend in Miami posted this link to the Miami Herald where it sounds like were facing even longer lines upto 7 hours.
We abandoned our idea of early voting and looked in to absentee voting. From the name I always thought absentee voting was for when you were out of the state or county of your polling location. My mom who travels for work usually votes absentee because she is usually out of town on election day.
But that was what we did, we woke up early and went to the Supervisor of Elections satellite office in Palm Beach Gardens. We arrived later than we planned and got there at 8:15, the office opened at 8:30 and there was already a line. Many people just had completed envelopes they only needed to drop off. So we waited in line. Eventually it was our turn. We went up to the counter and presented our driver’s licenses and got our voting envelopes. There were a few booths where one could go and fill out the forms so that is what we did. My husband juggled our toddler while I filled our forms. Luckily I had prepared and filled out the pre ballot after doing a lot of research on who to vote for. So it was easy to just fill in the ballot. We each signed our and turned them in.
We were walking out of the building around 9:30am and went out to breakfast. I was so relieved that it had not all morning.
Palm Beach Supervisor of Elections http://www.pbcelections.org/default.aspx