HOLLYWOOD, FLA. (WSVN) - Broward residents pulled up to the polls to voice their choice on the county’s first day of early voting in the Florida primary election, but the process was not without some technical difficulties.
7News cameras captured voters standing in line outside the Hollywood branch of the Broward County Library, Saturday afternoon.
“Gotta vote,” said a man.
“The opportunity to vote is important.” said voter John Huckestein.
But some of the machines that process the ballots got off with a bit of a glitch.
“It wasn’t scanning the ballots, and they said it was throughout the Broward County area,” said Huckestein. “If you left without scanning, they would invalidate your ballot.”
“But, you know, we were trapped. We had to stay, because we had already voted,” said voter Mary Ellen Huckestein.
Fortunately, the machines were back up and running after about half an hour, but even later in the day, people still had some problems.
“When I went to put [the ballot] in the scanner, [the machine] rejected it,” said voter Ann Ralston. “One of the ladies in there helped me get it in. She had trouble on that middle machine, and so, they moved to another machine. That one rejected it the first time, but then went in.”
Meanwhile, current state Commissioner of Agriculture and Democratic candidate for governor Nikki Fried spent the morning at the Broward County Library canvassing ahead of the Aug. 23 primary.
“Especially here in Broward County, you have a lot of very competitive primaries, so it’s important that you come out and you choose who is best going to represent you,” she said, “and, of course, the governor’s primary, this is paramount of what we’re going to see happen in November.”
Fried and U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, a former Florida governor, are the two front-running Democrats competing to take on Gov. Ron DeSantis in November.
“I’m very disappointed in the current leadership of Florida. I feel like Gov. DeSantis is tearing our state apart,” he said in a recent interview with 7News.
When it comes to issues in the state, women’s rights rises to the top with the recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe vs. Wade, sending the decision on abortion laws back to the states.
Fried criticized Crist’s past record on the issue
“Unfortunately, if we are going to count on that here in the state of Florida, getting some of those Republican women and our allies, getting independent women to cross over, they’re not going to do it for somebody who has been, still to this day calls himself pro-life,” she said.
But Crist said her assessment is inaccurate.
“She’s lying. I’m the only candidate in this race, as your governor, who has actually already vetoed an anti-abortion bill, and I’ll do it again,” he said.
As of late Saturday night, Broward’s supervisor of elections has not responded to 7News’ request for comment about the issue with the ballot machines.
Early voting polls will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. until Aug. 21. For more information on locations, click here. To look up a sample ballot, click here.
For more information on early voting in Miami-Dade County, click here. For Monroe County, click here.
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