Analysis

Long Lines in Florida

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In the weeks leading up to Election Day, election officials were concerned about the potential for long lines at the polls in Florida. These concerns proved valid, and some voters in Miami-Dade County waited in lines as long as seven hours.

Much of the information about long lines in Florida and across the country has been anecdotal. Other than surveys that asked people about wait times at the polls, limited data is available on this issue.

With this in mind, the Miami Herald tried to take a more systematic approach to identifying where in Miami-Dade County people waited in lines on November 6. The Herald estimated where long lines occurred by determining how long past 7 p.m.—the official close of polls in Florida—individual polling places remained open, taking into account the additional 45 minutes poll workers typically need to close down a site. They found that polling places that closed on time—by 7:45 pm—were located in the central and eastern parts of the county. Polling places that closed four hours or more past 7 p.m. were typically located in the south and west parts of the county.

The last polling place in Miami-Dade closed at 2:08 am, more than seven hours after closing time.