Broward did not initially follow suit but then a spokeswoman said it would try to accommodate voters — after assisting people who had made appointments to cast their ballots Sunday.
But there were no lines Sunday afternoon at the Lauderhill satellite office located at 1501 NW 40th Ave. Poll workers said they had assisted voters who had appointments as well as voters who had dropped by without an appointment to fill out a ballot.
Voters across the state can request and cast absentee ballots in person Monday. They can also drop them off at elections supervisor’s offices — but not at their precincts — on Election Day.
The Democrats’ lawsuit, filed in Miami federal court, argued that an emergency judge’s order was necessary to “extend voting opportunities” before Tuesday in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach, including allowing voters to cast absentee ballots in person.
It’s unclear exactly what more a court could have done, two days before Election Day. The lawsuit did not ask U.S. District Judge Patricia Seitz to reopen all early-voting sites.
“The extraordinarily long lines deterred or prevented voters from waiting to vote. Some voters left the polling sites upon learning of the expected wait, and others refused to line up altogether,” the lawsuit said. “These long lines and extreme delays unduly and unjustifiably burdened the right to vote.”
An attorney for the Miami-Dade elections supervisor filed a motion Sunday morning saying the lawsuit was moot because the county would allow for in-person absentee voting Sunday afternoon.
Democrats and Democratic-leaning groups had asked the governor late last week to extend early-voting hours by executive authority. Scott declined Thursday night.
On Friday, Monroe County Elections Supervisor Harry Sawyer Jr., a Republican, sent the governor a letter asking for more hours. Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner responded that the early-voting reports he was receiving from elections supervisors across the state were positive.
Scott signed a law last year reducing the number of early-voting days to eight from 14 and eliminating voting on the Sunday before Election Day, which Democrats used to turn out supporters in 2008. The new law guarantees one Sunday of early voting.
The number of maximum hours offered stayed the same on the books, but four years ago, then-Gov. Charlie Crist effectively extended early voting by another 24 hours.
Separately, the party sued in Orlando circuit court asking to extend early-voting hours in Orange County after a bomb scare temporarily closed a polling place. On Sunday morning, a judge ruled that the Winter Park early-voting site should open for four hours.
Excluding that site and the counties that allowed in-person absentee voting, more than 4.4 million Floridians had voted early or absentee by Sunday morning. More than 2.4 million people had voted early — most of them Democrats. More than 2 million had voted absentee — most of them Republicans.
In 2008, more people voted early, and fewer voted absentee.
Miami Herald staff writers Marc Caputo, Diana Moskovitz and Charles Rabin contributed to this report.