Early voting in Miami-Dade devolves into "chaos"

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The Miami Herald reports an attempt by the Miami-Dade elections department to let more people vote early Sunday “devolved into chaos after the department was overwhelmed with voters.”

In a confusing turn of events, the Miami-Dade elections department shut down early Sunday afternoon after too many people showed up to request and cast absentee ballots in person. The department had opened its Doral headquarters from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. as a work-around to an early-voting crackdown law.

But by 2 p.m., around 180 voters had showed up, and department spokeswoman Christina White said the office would not be able to accommodate any more voters who showed up. Additional voters would be turned away, she said.

UPDATE: In-person absentee voting has resumed.

Elsewhere, there’s been more accommodation:

Last night, voters in Miami-Dade County were forced to wait in line up to six hours to vote. In some precincts voters who arrived at 7PM were not able to cast their ballots until 1AM. In response, Republican-affiliated election officials in Miami-Dade have effectively extended early voting from 1PM to 5PM today by allowing “in-person” absentee voting. But this accommodation will only be available in a single location in the most Republican area of the county.

One of Andrew Sullivan’s readers sent him the picture above, with this note:

Attached is an early voting photo from 7am this morning at the New River Library in Pasco County, Florida. A woman in front of me was complaining about the long lines all week. I said that you can thank Governor Rick Scott for this. She confusingly asked why? I told her he cut early voting in half this year. She still looked confused. I said, “It’s voter suppression!” I said you may want to think about voting for him again. She gave me a look and I said god forbid white people talk about voter suppression. I am white and live in a very confederate county in Florida.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.