Voters cast ballots early at Kendall Branch Library

By Richard Yager

Campaign workers gather for early voting at Kendall Branch Library.

Hundreds of voters turned out at the Kendall Branch Library for early voting. “I just wanted to get it done,” said Lorraine Pringle of Snapper Creek, hauling her purse and carryall. “Usually I vote at the elementary school but it’s a newly designated precinct and I didn’t want to take the chance of waiting in a line on Election Day.”

Just as 165 fellow voters did on Wednesday, Aug. 18, Pringle had parked in the south lot of the library at 9101 SW 97 Ave. to be greeted by a cluster of signwaving campaign workers. A lesser number stationed themselves at the north lot entry.

“I’ll wait to vote in my own precinct come election day,” said Ann Carpenter, a Bent Tree resident clothed in a bright orange vest and stationed at the entrance to the library.

She was one of some 160 poll workers countywide assigned to eight-member Election Department crews and supervised by Frank Glancy, a resident from the old Tropical Estates neighborhood.

Beginning on Aug. 9, a total of 1,429 voters had cast ballots at the Kendall Branch through Aug. 18, part of 19,737 early voters countywide for the same period, according to Christina White, Elections Department spokesperson.

Early voting in Florida was expected to have drawn over a half million voters to the polls, based on a projection that 20 percent of 8.6 million registered voters will cast ballots ahead of the primary election day, Aug. 24.

During the noon hour on Aug. 18, nearly 40 voters took advantage of lunchtime to vote early, nearly all choosing early voting as a preference for a variety of reasons.

“Take it from someone who as a youth was awakened in bed with a gun staring at him,” said Cuban-born attorney Manuel Mari of Coral Gables, who has been in the U.S. for 30 years. “People should treasure the right to vote in this country, and the freedoms it provides. I know, and I take those rights seriously.”

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