Election Day 2020: South Florida at the polls (includes video story)

The day that the entire country has been anxiously awaiting has finally arrived: Election Day. Florida is a swing state — and infamously vital in deciding close elections.

New York Times columnist David Leonhardt wrote that a win for Biden in Florida, Georgia or North Carolina may give him the presidency. However, a loss in all three states would likely mean a much longer wait to gain insight or certainty of the results.

In South Florida, polling places such as the Coral Reef Library saw a slow morning, with voters just beginning to trickle in.

Sebastian Cid, 19, is a first-time voter and a sophomore attending Florida International University while working at a mechanic shop. He voted for Trump.

“I didn’t have time to vote earlier but the rest of my family did,” said Cid. “I chose today and I called my job to come in a little later so I can vote out. “

Cid said he believes Trump is a better candidate than Biden when it concerns the country’s growth. “I feel like the economy’s been a lot better since Trump has been in office, although I don’t agree with all of his methods, but I do agree like economic-wise.”

Unfortunately, some voters arrived at the wrong precinct to vote. This was the case for Eddie Davis, a 34-year-old landscaper who is voting for Biden.

“Biden is the best!” said Davis.  “He actually knows about politics and won’t put us in a recession.”

Davis said he had no time to vote early this year because he was too preoccupied with yard work. “This pandemic left me trying to find as much work as I can.”

Once he found his correct voting spot, he planned to shade in the box for Biden. “I’m heading to my proper site and I hope there are no lines!”

Alexis Corrada is a 29-year-old nursing student at Miami Dade College who is graduating in December.

“The reason why I came to vote on election day versus early voting is because I’m in school,” said Corrada. “So I wasn’t able to come. The semester just ended on Friday.”

Corrada is planning on voting for Biden. “I was ready to stand in line today for as long as I needed to stand in line to cast my vote. “

Corrada stood in line for one minute.

Outside the Miami-Dade Elections Department. (Alejandra Garcia Elcoro/SFMN).

There were conflicts on Tuesday. At about 11:45 a.m., a truck caravan carrying Biden signs and playing loud music passed by the John F. Kennedy Library in Hialeah.

Dozens of Trump supporters were standing outside. After a brief heated argument between supporters of the two sides, the Biden caravan continued on. But the Trump crowd got noticeably louder. Someone grabbed a megaphone and urged a vote against Biden and communism.

Supporters then began running laps around the parking lot with USA and Trump 2020 flags in hand.

Others with megaphones denounced reporters as fake news and told them to “please report the truth for once.”

At around 12:15 Hialeah police intervened, telling the Trump supporters to retreat from the polling place.

Nearby Rolando Rodríguez, 58, said he was a lifelong Republican. Though he voted for Obama in 2008, he chose Romney in 2012. In 2016 and again this year, he chose Trump. Biden, he said, is as corrupt as Hillary Clinton. Trump has been one of the greatest presidents, despite tweeting too much, he added.

The lack of voting lines in the assigned Doral precincts, like several other polling places in South Florida, suggests that the majority of people opted to cast their ballots through in-person early voting or by mail. 

Campaign workers and election volunteers like Raquel Aveillez were shocked to witness the low voter turnout. She is a volunteer for Election Protection, an American non-partisan coalition of voting rights activists. 

“I was expecting much more of a voter turnout here in Doral,” she said. “I didn’t think I would be surrounded by so few people while voting today.”

Aveillez voted for Trump today after she finished her shift in Ronald W. Reagan Doral Sr. High School’s Doral polling place.

In Opa-locka, at the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Honey Hill Station, located at 4775 NW 199th Street, there were no lines with only 4 people voting at approximately 10 a.m.

Surprisingly, even though there were signs promoting different candidates, no campaign workers were there whatsoever. The area to vote was the garage on the side of the building, which is usually reserved for fire trucks with tables set up with panels to keep the filling-out of ballots private. This location represents Miami-Dade’s Precinct 350, a multi-ethnic area with a plurality of Democratic voters.

In Miramar, at the Miramar Branch Library, located at 2050 Civic Center Place, there were no voters or campaign workers. Next to it at the City Hall building, there were a few campaign workers, but almost no voters in sight.

Miramar’s Vice Mayor, Maxwell Chambers, passed out hand sanitizer and water bottles to campaign workers in a white van with a “Caribbeans for Biden/Harris” sticker on it. This location represents Broward County’s W022 precinct, with a majority of Hispanic voters.

Alejandra Garcia Elcoro is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Media and Journalism at Florida International University. With her passion and dedication, she will report vital stories that will leave an impact on her community.

Ana Soler is majoring in journalism with a translation & interpretation certificate at Florida International University. She has a passion for writing and reporting in both English and Spanish. She is a lover of linguistics, pop culture, entertainment, traveling and learning about people of all walks of life.

Angelo Gomez is a journalism and political science double major at Florida International University. He is a "huge Marvel and Star Wars nerd, lover of all sports and a politics geek."

Racquel Lewis is a Miami native who enjoys botany, comedy, theatre, and culinary arts. She is currently an assistant editor at South Florida Media Network while also attending Florida International University as a Broadcast Media major. Her goals are to have her own show and to get an Emmy.

Beatriz is a broadcast media major at Florida International University and is the managing editor for South Florida Media Network. She aspires to become a documentarian.