SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. - With emotions running high in this election, and predictions indicating long lines at the polls, many people voted early or by absentee ballot. But for those who did show up Tuesday to vote, just how long did they have to wait?
ABC 7 took our political stopwatch -- or timer in this case -- to polls all around Sarasota County to time exactly how long it took people to vote, from the moment they headed into their precinct until they came out.
The long lines that wrapped around the building at Precinct 227 on Bee Ridge Road near Tuttle Avenue Tuesday morning dissipated about 9am when the rain struck. 600 people had already voted there by that time; but once the rain started, only a trickle of voters showed up, and voting didn't take long. "About 15 or 20 minutes,” said voter Randy Bridwell.
We wanted to find out exactly how long it took. So we put our political stop watch on voter Joanne Cheney when she went in. It took her six minutes to vote. “There were not many people in there…it was good," said Cheney.
We also clocked Burt Luper. He was in and out in about 5 minutes.
And Juan Leon: "14 minutes, not bad. No line, plenty of open spaces."
The municipal auditorium in Sarasota is the home of 3 precincts, and is usually one of the busier spots. How long did it take there? "Very long, at least about 25 minutes…because there were so many amendments we had rehearsed at home, but we were still were copying form what we had done…long time," said voter Norine Smith.
The North Sarasota County Library also had long lines early Tuesday morning. But by the time voter Tiara Frett and her son arrived, the lines were gone. We timed her as she voted with our political stopwatch. “Ten minutes, that was pretty fast,” said Tiara. "The only thing that was hard, was this little boy right here. They had to give him candy, they had to give him doughnuts, he was everywhere. But other than that it was easy."
And looks like her son will have really sweet memories of this election.
Several people told ABC 7 it took them about 45 minutes to vote, but it wasn't the lines that held them up. It was all those long amendments on the ballot; they hadn't read them before they got to the voting booth, and reading them and deciding how to vote really slowed them down.