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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Voting 'going well,' state says, with scattered incidents reported



Under the watchful eyes of a tense and anxious nation, Florida was on a torrid pace to set a record for most votes in a statewide election Tuesday.

Secretary of State Ken Detzner's office said voting was "going well" across the state. A number of minor incidents were being reported as both voters and the news media were on a heightened sense of alert everywhere as some voters waited in line to cast ballots, even after half of the state's voters had voted early.

"There's lots of interest. I like this," said Pinellas Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark.

Pinellas had replaced 10 of its ballot scanners by mid-afternoon because of numerous instances of ballot cards jamming machines, Clark said. Pinellas gave voters a 19-inch ballot card, longer than a typical legal size 14-inch card, because that enabled every race and ballot question to fit on one card, rather than giving voters two cards, she said. Clark said she replaced six scanners in 2012 and 12 scanners in the 2008 election.

Elsewhere around the state:

In Pompano Beach, two poll workers, a Republican and a Democrat, were ordered off the job and fired after complaints of voter intimidation at the Herb Sloknick Community Center, according to reports by Miami's NBC6. One fired clerk, David Booth, told the station: "It looks like they're trying to do something dishonest." The Times/Herald could not immediately verify the report with the Broward Supervisor of Elections.

In Jupiter in Palm Beach County, a man and woman got into an argument that escalated into a fight, with Tom Garrecht, knocking the woman down after she used pepper spray on him following an argument, The Palm Beach Post reported. Donna Tatlici, who was handing out Donald Trump literature at a community center, said Garrecht, a Hillary Clinton supporter, screamed at her and said, "I don't need anybody to tell me who to vote for."

In Jacksonville, a voting machine was plugged into a dead AC outlet at a church, resulting in a minor delay in votes being tabulated. The state said all voters were able to vote with no problems.

Clark and other supervisors expect a surge of last-minute voters who will show up at precincts after getting out of work at 5 p.m. By law, anyone who is standing in line when the polls close at 7 p.m. must be allowed to vote.

[Last modified: Tuesday, November 8, 2016 4:50pm]


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