Floridians wait for hours on second day of early voting

Miami HeraldOctober 21, 2008 

The second day of early voting was marked with hours-long lines in South Florida as voters -- some with books to read, umbrellas to shade themselves from the sun and water bottles -- waited for their chance to cast their ballots.

At some polling sites, wait times reached four hours. Lines stretched around buildings.

Shirley Nehleber said she didn't mind the wait.

''There is a tremendous amount of people wanting to vote,'' Nehleber said while waiting in line outside of the Aventura Government Center. ``I prepared myself that it is going to be a long time.''

Since the start of early voting on Monday, voters have complained about minor glitches and the unexpected crowds.

U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, who represents parts of Miami-Dade and Broward counties, met with Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez, County Manager George Burgess and Elections Supervisor Lester Sola at County Hall Tuesday morning in an attempt to address early voting concerns.

The result: The county has already purchased 10 new ballot-on-demand machines that print out the ballots, more chairs will be offered to seniors and additional goodwill ambassadors will be making the rounds at the voting sites.

What all agreed: Voters are going to be stuck in long lines, and the county needs to make it as comfortable as possible.

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