First-time voter Andre Murias, 18, arrived at South Kendall Community Church in Country Walk at exactly 7 p.m. Tuesday. He was the last voter in line. Nearly five hours later, shortly before midnight, Murias finally cast his vote for President Obama. He and hundreds of others waited in a line that snaked down the church’s driveway and around the block. “We were surprised that it went around the neighborhood,” said Murias, a student at Miami Dade College. One poll worker, who did not want to be identified, said there were at least 1,000 people waiting to cast their ballot at the church at 7:30 p.m., 30 minutes after the county’s polling places were supposed to have been closed.
Julian Montero, a poll watcher for the Obama campaign, monitored the line from 6 a.m. and stayed until the end with several volunteers. They ordered over 50 boxes of Domino’s Pizza and handed out water to the line-weary voters.
“I’m here trying to make sure all these voters don’t get discouraged, no matter who they’re voting for,’’said volunteer Jason Krieger.
Montero estimated about 120 people made it through the line per hour, with an average wait time of five hours.
Maggie Garcia waited in line for four hours with her preteen daughter. By the time she cast her vote for Gov. Mitt Romney, the TV networks had already called the race for Obama. No matter.
“I don’t regret waiting. It’s every four years so it’s worth it,’’ she said. “That’s why we’re here.’’
Voters at West Kendall Regional Library, meanwhile, were still in line to cast their ballots well after midnight.
One woman estimated she waited 10 hours, over three days, before she finally voted.