Osceola, Brevard counties see mix of light to heavy delays at polls

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FLORIDA - In Osceola County, voters had fewer places to cast their ballots, but long lines in the morning made for shorter lines in the afternoon.

According to Channel 9's Nancy Alvarez, the long lines coupled with beautiful weather caused some voters to leave without having cast their votes.

In Buenaventura Lakes, some voters were in and out in less than 10 minutes, but that wasn't the case everywhere.

Voters at a church in Kissimmee stood in line two to three hours wondering if the wait was the result of fewer polling places in the county.

Earlier this year, the supervisor of elections closed 15 precincts in order to save about $1 million. The move was expected to create long lines throughout the day.

County Commissioner John Quinones checked on things at one polling site, telling WFTV closing precincts was a bad move in a presidential election year.

"I hope that everyone who wants to vote gets to vote," he said.

At 6 a.m., lines were already forming at the Robert Guevara Community Center in Osceola County.

"I was told the lines were going to be really, really long, and I didn't want to stand out for so long, but I ended up to be the first one," said voter Fabio Gomez.

Gomez's polling place has 15,000 registered voters.

"We've brought in extra voting booths. We timed how long it takes to fill out the ballot, and it took 25 minutes," said Elections Community Relations Manager Amber Smith. "That's where the backlogs would be when people get to the voting booth and are filling out their ballot."

Smith said voters should arrive prepared and know how they plan to vote.

The additional voting machines and poll workers that were put into place to counter the county's closures helped keep the lines moving.

Brevard County:

In Brevard County, voting was mostly smooth sailing, according to Channel 9’s Kevin Oliver.

Oliver went around to nearly a dozen polling places and found relatively short lines at all of them.

The longest wait reported was about an hour-and-a-half, but it was early in the day as voters hit the polls prior to their work day.

Phil and Della Rose have been voting in Rockledge for the past 50 years. The couple said they had reason to believe if they showed up at the fire station just before 3 p.m. they could get in and get out.

Phil Rose said he can remember waiting much longer for other presidential elections, and blamed this year’s ballot with all the state amendments as the only thing that slowed him down this year.

“We had studied it, too, but it still looked a little different,” he said.

Atlantis Elementary School teacher Erin Dunne said it took her about five minutes to cast her ballot once she got done with work.  The timing, Dunne said, couldn't have been better for her.

“Our principal balanced out our days, so the time worked out so we were able to get out a little bit early after our students left,” she said.

Brevard County historically has taken longer to get all the results back, in part, because it's the longest county in the state. And if computer modems go down, some of the ballots have to be trucked 40 miles, Oliver said.