By Beverly R. Muzii
Two weeks until the election and campaign signs lined the perimeter of this early voting location in Orange County FL.
A less common sight, however, are the record-long lines at many polling locations. The Orange County Supervisor of Elections has put on its website a list of each polling location and its corresponding wait time. According to the website The Chickasaw Library had over a 45-minute wait. But that was hardly even the longest of lines.
On the second day of early voting and around 5:00 p.m. voters at the Alafaya library had to wait over an hour in line.
There to help make the wait more comfortable was Daniel Siciliano, who on behalf of the Biden/Harris Campaign was giving out free water and snacks to voters.
“I give out water, I give out crackers and food to anyone who may need it, specifically you know because we have long voter lines,” he said.
“Right now, it’s cloudy, but earlier it was really, really hot, so you know people need water to stay in the line so that’s why we come out.”
Siciliano had been at the voting location since 8:50 a.m. and when asked if the lines had been this long all day he replied, “No. This is actually quite short.”
“So, it used to be way past that white banner over there,” he said, pointing to an area of the parking lot a distance away from where the line ended.
But, even with lengthy lines, voters are not being discouraged. Jaylynn Cabrera, a voter, waited in line for 45-minutes and has no regrets.
“I feel like when there is a longer line you realize how important it is to vote and it felt important,” she said.
But not all polling facilities develop the same long lines.
The Amway Center in Downtown Orlando is one location where voters usually don’t have to wait a long time to cast their ballot. Queues have been set up to handle long lines and though there have been large crowds of voters, the employment of 80 ballot boxes keeps the line moving and prevents a long wait.
According to the Orange County Supervisor of Elections website, the Amway Center usually has a less than 15-minute wait, making it a convenient in and out location for early voters.
Many voters, however, have chosen to skip the lines altogether by either mailing-in or dropping off Vote-by-Mail and absentee ballots.
But no matter how they choose to vote, Floridians are turning out. Over 4.7 million ballots have already been returned by eager Florida voters who, having made their voice count, now await the results of this high-stakes election.