In a state where legal action often goes hand in hand with presidential elections, the Florida Democratic Party filed a federal lawsuit early Sunday to force the state government to extend early voting hours in South Florida. The lawsuit followed a stream of complaints from voters who sometimes waited nearly seven hours to vote or who did not vote at all because they could not wait for hours to do so. Shortly after the lawsuit was filed, local election supervisors in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties, where queues sometimes snaked out the door and around buildings, said they would allow voters to request and cast absentee ballots on Sunday. Voters in three other Florida counties also will be able to pick up and drop off absentee ballots. State election law permits election offices to receive absentee ballots through Tuesday so long as they are cast in person.
But later on Sunday, Miami-Dade’s county election supervisor closed down the line for absentee ballots at its Doral office after two hours because too many people showed up. It was eventually re-opened and election officials said that anyone in line by 5 p.m. would be able to drop off an absentee ballot.
In a separate Democratic Party lawsuit in Orange County, where Orlando is, a judge there extended early voting on Sunday after a polling station in the Winter Park library was forced to shut down over a suspicious package. The extra hours are being offered at only one polling station.
In its federal lawsuit, filed in court in Miami, Democrats argued that an emergency order was needed to “extend voting opportunities” before Tuesday in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties. It also urged that voters be allowed to cast absentee ballots in person in the counties’ main election offices. The three counties are home to about 32 percent of the state’s registered Democratic voters.
Full Article: Democrats Sue to Extend Florida’s Early Voting – NYTimes.com.