Early US voting leads to lines, lawsuit

2012-11-05 08:12
South Floridians stand in line during the last day of early voting in Miami. (Alan Diaz, AP)

South Floridians stand in line during the last day of early voting in Miami. (Alan Diaz, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • The Amateur
    A gripping read that reveals never before published details about the Obama administration's... Now R321.00
    buy now

Miami - Florida, famous for the presidential election debacle 12 years ago which required the hand-counting of thousands of ballots, is facing new election-related problems ahead of Tuesday's White House vote.

The state's Democratic Party filed a federal lawsuit on Sunday over long delays encountered by some voters who were unable to cast votes in southern Florida despite spending hours in line.

The controversy erupted over "in person absentee ballots" that officials in Miami Dade County said voters would be allowed to cast on Sunday from 13:00 17:00.

The state's Republican governor, Rick Scott, signed a law last year reducing the number of early voting days from 14 to eight and eliminating early voting on the Sunday before election day. Early voting officially ended in the state late on Saturday.

On Sunday, voters in southern Florida's Miami-Dade County received word that they would be allowed to cast absentee ballots in person.

But after being open for barely an hour, the Miami-Dade office closed its doors around 14:00, saying they were swamped by the unexpected high turnout.

'This is not a third-world country'


The decision to cut short the vote led to an uproar outside the government office, where the Miami Herald reported nearly 200 people began shouting, "We want to vote!" "Let us vote!"

"This is America, not a third-world country," Myrna Peralta told the daily.

Peralta said she had been waiting in line with her 4-year-old grandson for nearly two hours before being turned away.

"They should have been prepared," Peralta said, venting her anger over the election organisers, according to the Florida daily.

The lawsuit file by Democrats asks a judge to compel three southern Florida counties to allow in-person absentee voting not only in Miami-Dade, but in two other counties, Palm Beach and Broward.

Florida is arguably the king of swing states, with around 29 electoral college votes up for grabs - more than any other of the closely-contested "battleground" states that vacillate between Republican and Democratic control and which ultimately will decide the election outcome.

Voter suppression

Since last week, almost 4.5 million people have cast early ballots in Florida ahead of the official election day on Tuesday, when the majority of voting Americans will formally vote for either the Democratic president, Barack Obama, or his Republican rival Mitt Romney.

Florida is especially critical to Romney's election prospects, and pundits say he must win the state if he is to defeat Obama.

Critics condemned the confusion as the latest in a so-called "voter suppression" campaign underway in several states aimed at discouraging Democrats from casting ballots.

In general, Democrats favour early voting, so limiting the number of people who vote ahead of the official 6 November election is seen as putting a thumb on the scale for Romney.

A judge in the central Florida city of Orlando on Sunday however ordered early voting to be extended in Orange County by several hours to accommodate the flood of voters.

Voting problems in the 2000 presidential election were mainly related to antiquated paper punch ballots which in some cases left vote counters uncertain as to the voters' intentions, and required that thousands of ballots be manually examined.

That election pitted Democratic Vice President Al Gore against Texas Republican Governor George W Bush - who won when a divided US Supreme Court intervened to halt a ballot recount while he had a narrow lead over Gore.



- Take a look at our US Election Poll Prediction map

Read more on:    barack obama  |  mitt romney  |  us  |  us elections 2012
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
5 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Fashion
 

6 life hacks you simply have to know

A few simple tricks can make your life so much easier!

 
 

For chic geeks...

Device lets disabled people talk through their nose
It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
This is why you should install iOS 8
17 photo illusions that look so real

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Something may be bothering you. A flooded mind and impulsive reactions are not a good combination as you are not thinking clearly....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.