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The Party At Florida's Five-hour Voting Lines

Reader Kathryn Sheps of St. Petersburg, FL, writes:

I voted early on Sunday Nov. 2nd, the last day of early voting here in St Petersburg, FL. We arrived to the polling place at 11:30 am, about a half-hour before the office opened for the day. We expected that we would be there early, and that Sunday Football might keep people away from the polls until later in the afternoon. Well, we were wrong, a line had been forming since 7 in the morning (again, the polling place didn't open until noon)!
It was an incredibly festive environment - people were laughing and chatting, Obama volunteers were passing out bottled water, local candidates (mostly Democratic candidates, I noticed), were shaking hands, thanking people for being there to vote, talking about their platforms. Kids of all colors were playing together on the courthouse lawn. A violinist with a small amplifier had staked out a position, and was playing for the crowd. A couple, who had nearly left the early voting lines the day before came back and brought a couple of hundred pizzas down to the lines, to keep people from leaving the line up due to hunger. The mood was light-hearted, fun and festive, despite the  occasional rain showers.   I was wishing I had brought my camera. We finally got in to vote at around 4pm. It was 4:30 by the time we had left the polling place. It was a 4.5-5 hour wait, and I'll remember it for the rest of my life.

Max Fisher