Long lines at Charlotte County polling locations for first day of early voting

Polls opened at 7 a.m. in Charlotte County and voters were lining up early. Some ended up waiting as long as two hours to vote. County elections offices are saying this is not typical of the first day of early voting.

The Supervisor of Elections for Charlotte County says the wait is only 45 minutes but could feel longer. Those who have been waiting at a location in Punta Gorda for hours said their watches don’t lie.

“I’ve been waiting since 8 o’clock,” said Herve Phanord of Punta Gorda. At this point, “It’s about now 2 1/2 hours.”

Marlyn Moreley, another voter, said, “About an hour and a half.” That’s how long she’s been waiting to vote.

Others said while the lines might be long, the wait wasn’t too bad. “Two hours. Wasn’t bad,” Helen Holder of Port Charlotte.

“20 minutes maybe yeah? Yeah? And it hasn’t moved one bit,” Susan Trotter said.

Most voters say they didn’t expect the line to be along as it was. “I didn’t expect the line to be this long. It went way back to 41,” Jeffrey Berost said.

Minutes in line turned into hours for hundred of voters at Port Charlotte Mid-County Regional Library.

Voters getting excited to finally see movement. “We’re moving! We’re moving!” Susan Trotter exclaimed.

Excited to finally get the chance to vote. “I’m excited about this. This is just amazing,” she said.

The lines did subside briefly. Some even braved the inclement weather for the reassurance that their votes would be counted. “Oh, I just trust it a little more than the mail,” Moreley said.

“It’s been hot and we’ve been rained on,” said Trotter

“Tomorrow is not guaranteed. Today is the day you come out and cast your vote,” said Phanord.

“It doesn’t make any difference what political affiliation you are,”  Trotter said. “We’ve got people who’ve falled for this privilege. The least I can do is stand in line.”

The polls close daily at 7 p.m. in Charlotte County. As long as you are in line by 6:59 p.m. you will be allowed to cast your vote.

Reporter:Erika Jackson
Writer:Drew Hill
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