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.
“We had the best of intentions to provide this service today,” she said. “We just can’t accommodate it to the degree that we would like to.”Shortly after, however, the department locked its doors and shut down the operation without explanation. The people in line did not get to vote.
“Let us vote!” they shouted.
The department had only one ballot-printing machine, five voting booths and two staffers to assist voters Sunday.
“This is America, not a third-world country,” said Myrna Peralta, who waited in line with her 4-year-old grandson for nearly two hours before being turned away. “They should have been prepared.”
“My beautiful Sunshine State,” she lamented. “They’re not letting people vote.”
Tow trucks later began towing voters’ cars parked in a lot across the street from the elections department. “This is intimidation!” one voter yelled.( Collapse )