'Practical World' True News Magazine by American Road Radio

'Practical World' True News Magazine by American Road Radio
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#Election2016 : Election day in Florida

Voter turnout has been steady but not overwhelming as Election Day rolls on until 7 p.m. in Central Florida -- as the presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump tops the battles on the ballot. 

About 19,000 people cast ballots in Orange County the first hour that polls were open, elections officials say. By midday 71,549 have voted, bringing overall turnout so far to about 62 percent including early voting.

No glitches or long wait times have been reported since voting started at 7 a.m. "Everything is smooth and quiet. No issues," said D'Anne Mica, spokeswoman for Orange County elections.

Record-breaking early voting turnout is likely helping create shorter lines at the polls today, Mica said. When Election Day dawned, more than 52 percent of registered voters in Orange County had already cast their ballots by mail or at early voting centers.

Voters this evening should keep in mind that if they are in line before 7 p.m., they must be allowed to cast their ballot. Sample ballots can be seen at county websites:

As Karthik Chivukula headed into North Park Baptist Church in Baldwin Park to vote, he said he'd like to feel the enthusiasm he did in 2008, when Barack Obama made history as the nation's first black president. That excitement is absent for him in an election that could produce the nation's first female president.

But picking Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump was easy, he said.

"Some of the things he's said about groups of people that I identify with have been very untenable for me," he said.

Still, Chivukula, 30, will be drinking in Trump's honor tonight; he plans to a sip White Russian as he watches the election results roll in, he said.

Dan Dennis of Winter Garden brought the opposite outlook to his polling place at Stoneybrook West Golf Club. He sat out the past two presidential elections because he was fed up with politics as usual and found he couldn't get behind any of the party nominees.

"This time, you actually have a citizen running," Dennis said. "It was exciting to vote for him."

Florida's status as a battleground state added another layer of excitement to supporting Trump, especially with polls showing the two candidates are neck and neck in Florida.

"It could come down to our family," he quipped.

Seminole County also didn't see any major hiccups in its first couple hours of voting as more than 14,000 voters had checked in by 9 a.m., Elections Supervisor Mike Ertel said, and his office said 30,000 voted by midday.

"Fingers crossed, it stays that way," he said.

By 10:30 a.m., more than 10,000 had passed through Osceola County voting booths. The voting was steady, and elections spokeswoman Amber Smith said she had no problems to report.

In Osceola, about 53 percent of registered voters cast ballots early or by mail.

Seminole County broke records for turnout before Election Day, with about 58 percent of the electorate casting ballots by mail or early voting, Ertel said.

He said the county is on pace to see higher turnout than in the 2012 presidential election, in which 75 percent of voters participated. Two hours into polling today, Seminole's turnout stands at 63 percent, already higher than the overall showing in the last gubernatorial election.

An assistant poll clerk in Winter Park said it felt like a party in Lake Island Hall as people arrived to vote. The poll workers celebrated at least four first-time voters with applause and whooping, said Laurie Wack, a board member with the League of Women Voters of Orange County.

Wack, who wore beaded American flag earrings and a stars-and-stripes bandana, said she and fellow league members always look forward to Election Day.

"Voting is what we do," she said.

Wack said she'd noticed a high turnout from minority voters at the poll during the day, although traffic overall was relatively light.

"Someone who came in allocated two hours so he could get to work on time, and we had him in and out in 10 minutes," she said.

Millions of Floridians were expected to flock to the polls Tuesday, and their ballots could decide whether or not Republican Donald Trump or Democrat Hillary Clinton becomes the next president.

Presidential elections usually include sporadic voting problems, such as machines not working properly. Calls to Election Protection, a national voter helpline, included people reporting long lines as a result of machine problems in three precincts in Virginia. And election officials at a handful of precincts in Durham County, N.C., were using paper roll books after technical issues with computer check-in.

Both candidates have pegged their campaign fortunes to Florida, scheduling a seemingly nonstop series of campaign events throughout the state in the weeks leading up to Election Day.

“Florida can decide who our next president is, which will affect the nation and the world,” Clinton said last week during a visit to Pasco County, just north of Tampa.

Trump too has made the stakes clear: “It's a big, big vote in the state of Florida.”

The attention to this year's election appears to have sparked a record turnout. Slightly more than half of Florida's active registered voters had voted by mail or at an early voting site before Election Day.

Several other important races also line the ballot, including three Florida Republican officeholders in Washington facing challenges: Sen. Marco Rubio from Patrick Murphy, Rep. John Mica from Stephanie Murphy and Rep. Daniel Webster from Dave Koller and Bruce Ray Riggs. Well-known Democrats in Val Demings and Darren Soto also are seeking seats on The Hill, opposed by Thuy Lowe and Wayne Liebnitzky in districts 8 and 9, respectively.

Hotly contested state constitutional amendments on Florida ballots include proposals on medical-marijuana and solar energy. Several Florida Legislature seats are up for grabs, as well as numerous spots for judgeships and county posts.

Monday, a key poll by Quinnipiac University showed Clinton and Trump in a virtual dead heat in Florida. Clinton led by a point, which was a lesser advantage than the poll's margin of error.
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