Politics & Government

Florida polling underway; 'Come prepared,' voters told

South Floridians are likely to turn out in droves Tuesday to choose a new president, and if lines at the polls are tolerable, they have early voters to thank.

About one of every four registered voters in Miami-Dade, Broward and statewide cast their ballots during the two-week early voting period that ended Sunday. That should help keep lines at a minimum despite an expected 80 percent turnout.

''I think that is going to help alleviate the lines,'' said Marie Bertot, a Miami-Dade County spokeswoman.

Another help: Voters will be spread between 1,100 different polling places in Miami-Dade and Broward, making lines faster than at the 37 locations that hosted early voting.

All South Florida polling sites opened on time at 7 a.m., election workers said, and most already had people queuing up before dawn, waiting in lawn chairs and on blankets. Lines will be cut off at 7 p.m., but anyone in line by then will be allowed to vote.

Aside from some sprinkles and early fog, the Election Day forecast is mostly sunny with temperatures in the low 80s and a light breeze.

It will be the state's first big test of new optical-scan voting machines, which election officials promise will better serve voters than ATM-like touch-screens or butterfly ballots.

Read the complete story at miamiherald.com