Early Voting Lines Moving Quicker Thanks to Extended Hours

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Jose D. Duran
Voters line up outisde of the Stephen P. Clark Center in downtown Miami waiting to vote Wednesday morning.

What a difference a week makes. With people statewide rushing to the polls to cast their ballots, polling places have been plagued by long queues of voters. At some locations, the wait time was up to four hours, discouraging voters and giving those in a time crunch due to school or work few options than just voting regularly on Election Day.

For Nadine, a teacher was sitting outside of the polling location, the shorter wait time comes as a relief. "I tried to before but the lines were too long." She had tried to vote earlier in the week at the Lemon City Library, located in Little Haiti. "Some people were saying it was taking four to five hours."

With Gov. Charlie Crist's order to extend voting hours until 7 p.m. (much to the dismay of the Republican Party), voters today encountered smaller lines. When Riptide stopped by the Stephen P. Clark Center in downtown Miami today around 11 a.m., voters were waiting about 20 to 30 minutes to vote. On the Miami-Dade Elections Web site, wait times ranged from 30 minutes to 3 hours, a vast improvement since yesterday.

"There been longer lines," said Sherrie Lumpkin, a campaign worker who has been outside of the Center since last week. "Lines have definitely been longer than this."

-- Jose D. Duran

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