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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Long lines, but smooth voting in east and west Tampa



TAMPA -- Voting is going smoothly at several east and west Tampa polling places that were anticipated to be problematic. Voters in the mostly minority districts could run into snags today because of the "No Match, No Vote" law, meaning some people may have to cast provisional ballots because spellings of their names don't match a state database.

Not so for Esmie Robinson, 77, who was one of the first in line at Middleton High School in College Hill. She arrived at 6 a.m. and later cast her ballot without any problems. She said she likes optical scan voting better than touch screen, and she voted for Obama.

"It's in the hands of the Lord now," Robinson said.

A few blocks away, Vernindale Garrett, 32, voted at the Fair Oaks Community Center. He arrived at 6:10 and was the 50th person in line. Once inside, it was quick and easy, but he's still a little worried about Florida's voting reputation. "I just hope they count all the votes, none of this debacle we had in the past."

Across town at the West Tampa Convention Center, two volunteers with Election Protection, a nonprofit group that monitors polls, said they hadn't heard of any problems."But it's still early," said 26-year-old Meg Bailey.

"In some sense, being bored today would be a good thing," said Angela Lin, 25.

Kim Wilmath, Times staff writer


[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:39am]


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