I am hearing of heavy early voting in the U.S. presidential election. In particular, I have heard stories of heavy voting in Georgia, Colorado, Florida and North Carolina. Apparently, Colorado’s exit polls show an enormous 20%+ advantage for Obama, where the voting in Florida is tilted in favor of McCain (these statistics are as yet unverified).
I have also heard that the percentage of Blacks voting early is much higher in Georgia and North Carolina in particular (again unverified). WTOP radio in Washington D.C. has said that wait times were up to 2 hours 45 minutes in Florida as they only have 17 polling stations open (in Broward County(?)) out of 300 that will eventually be open. (This comes from memory as I was driving when I heard this story)
Nevertheless, I do have a good story supplied to me by a friend who has actually voted in Florida. Lines are long there and turnout will be very, very heavy. Expect some serious problems come voting day if these kinks aren’t ironed out. (Oh, and this is the third different Presidential ballot type in Florida in 3 elections. That much change is sure to cause problems).
I stood in line for 1.5 hours today to vote. It was a typical South Florida scene; typical in many ways. Hot, humid and a little surreal. Most people in line were Hispanic and about 50% were actually conversing in Spanish. The woman in line behind me was a first time voter and my wife and I spent the better part of an hour trying to get her to read through and understand the sample ballot and all of the random amendments that we had to vote on.
As I stood at the entrance to the polling station, a middle-age Cuban man came out of the door and immediately recognized an older compatriot who had been meandering through t the line with me. They exchanged a typical Cuban greeting “Como tu estas chico” (how are you guy) and then the younger fellow leaned into the older man’s ear and said with a grin in a loud whisper “No votes por ese negro” (Don’t vote for that black guy). This was immediately followed by a chortle, some back slapping and a quick goodbye.
My wife and I were a little startled, but not surprised. The Nicaraguan man in front of us in line looked at us in disbelief as well and began lamenting the state of things in Miami.
So what’s going on? What explains why over 70% of Hispanics are voting for Obama, but just around 40% of Cubans?
These are interesting times. Read the rest of this blog post to see the writer’s take on what’s happening with the Hispanic vote in Florida. And, vote early if you can!
No Votes por ese Negro – Duck’s Pond