Early voting problems in Manatee County

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Posted: Saturday, November 3, 2012 6:54 pm

MANATEE COUNTY--With just hours to left to vote early, thousands lined up in Manatee County Saturday to cast their vote.

As you can imagine, with that many people, parking spots were at a premium.

"Parking was pretty difficult," said Joel Novielle, "it took us about fifteen minutes to find a spot, unfortunately they had the car show today, so a lot of people were fighting for spots for both."

And it's that car show, put on by the sheriff's office as a fundraiser for terminally ill children, that has some crying foul.

"What you have is a car show put on apparently in the sheriff's department parking lot which is really stagnating the parking," said Paula House, who is running for the state senate and says the car show was held intentionally to discourage voters.

"If I were a voter and I came by here and I saw the kind of congestion, and the circus atmosphere that's going on I would say well I'll take my chances another day," said House.

Organizers with the sheriff's office say the event was planned months in advance, and that they worked with the elections office to make sure both the car show and early voting went smoothly.

"The've had more than ample enough places to park, we even assisted with directing traffic to help out so we didn't have an issue," said Dwayne Dennison of the Sheriff's Office, "I have seen no complaints, I see no reason for them to feel that way at all."

Supervisor of Elections Bob Sweat wouldn't comment on the situation.

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