A judge extended early voting hours in one Florida county on Sunday after the state Democratic Party sued in an effort to give people more time at the polls. Some voters had faced waits several hours long on Saturday, the last scheduled day of early voting. The judge ruled on a lawsuit filed late Saturday in Orange County after an early voting site was shut down for several hours. The Winter Park library was evacuated when a suspicious package — a cooler — was found outside. It was later detonated by a local bomb squad.
Bill Cowles, the Orange County elections supervisor, said that voters who show up on Sunday will be asked to use a provisional ballot. The extra hours will be offered at only the Winter Park library. A Republican Party spokesman said the party was not challenging the decision. Brian Burgess said state law requires provisional ballots to be used whenever a court orders an extension of voting hours.
The Democratic state party also filed a federal lawsuit Sunday morning seeking more voting time in Palm Beach, Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Voting in Miami-Dade County and Palm Beach County didn't wrap up until early Sunday morning because voters standing in line when the polls closed were allowed to vote.
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and other Democrats asked Gov. Rick Scott this past week to use his emergency powers to extend early voting. The Republican-controlled Florida Legislature last year cut the number of days available for early voting from a maximum of 14 days to eight days.