Poll watchers said the precinct was understaffed and poorly organized.
For one, poll workers had trouble finding voters’ names in the hard-copy registry because two precincts (and six sub-precincts) were voting at one location.
“This is the worst excuse for a precinct I’ve ever seen,’’ said Manuel E. Iglesias, a volunteer attorney for the Romney campaign.
Of the eight ballot scanners, only two were working. Only two people were able to vote at any one time, he said.
Alexandra Lange, a 50-year-old Brickell resident, waited more than six hours to fill our her ballot. She left the polling place irate.
“This is a mess,’’ she said. “There is a bottleneck at the door. It is chaos.’’
Seline Paulino, 23, said the poll workers mistakenly thought she requested an absentee ballot. That cost her even more time.
“The woman was trying to help me, but she was dealing with like five other people whose names weren’t in the book,’’ Paulino said. “She was clearly overwhelmed.’’
At about 7 p.m., Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez showed up to apologize to throngs of exhausted voters. He promised to bring in additional poll workers from closed polling sites. A dozen were dispatched after hours.
"I’m not happy with what’s going on in Brickell," he said. "The people are upset, and I don’t blame them. I told them I was sorry.
"I’m sorry and embarrassed."
Gimenez said there were too many precincts voting at the UTD Towers, which needs to be addressed before the next election.
Brickell elections clerk Daniel Molden blamed the delays on the unexpectedly large turnout.
"It’s just a lot of people," Molden said, noting that voters began forming a line around 5:30 a.m. "We had trouble to start with."
Molden denied that there had been problems with the scanners that accept ballots. But a Herald reporter who voted at the precinct waited 30 minutes beside the scanner, which jammed each time a ballot sheet was fed into it. And a poll worker there said the scanners had been jamming intermittently.
But the wait wasn’t what upset some voters the most.
"They are out of stickers?" Zachary Ward, 24, lamented after waiting more than six hours to vote. "Not cool. Not cool."
TURNOUT MIGHT BE RECORD, 2:30 p.m.
Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner said Tuesday that Florida voters could set a state record for the number of ballots cast in an election.
He said with 4.5 million voters casting ballots early, turnout may have reached half before the polls opened on Election Day.
“I don’t have any projections to make except that, one, we’ll probably have a record setting year in terms of turnout,” Detzner said. “Early voting was very enthusiastic by people, as you know, and we’re delighted that perhaps even as many as 50 percent of the people might have voted early.”
SMOOTHER SAILING, CUPCAKES IN BROWARD
Mid-day voters at two precinct locations near City Hall in Lighthouse Point faced short waits outside. Residents were able to cast their ballots within about 30 minutes after arriving.
At the Pompano Beach Civic Center, there were about two dozen voters in line at 7:30 a.m., but one hour later there was no line.
Not all was easy in Broward, however.