JACKSONVILLE Fla.-- An unprecedented 174,000 voted early this year in Duval County; a number large enough to pack the polls with lines lingering well beyond their entrances, especially on Saturday.
"We had folks that were waiting in very long lines for hours," said FL State Representative, Mia Jones (District 14). "I had a cousin that waited in line for three hours in order to exercise his right to vote."
Representative Jones says more time to vote would create less pressure on the polls and on voters.
"It really boils down to just creating convenience," she said. "How many of us get up one day and say we're going to do A, B, C and something comes up and you're not able to complete everything on your list to do."
In the 2008 Presidential election, voters had 14 days to cast their ballot early. This year they only have eight; a change that Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll tells Action News was for the better. It costs the supervisor of elections $12,500 per day to operate just one early polling precinct.
"You have to hire people, you have to have a machine you have to rent the space," said the Lt. Governor. "The bottom line is we have to be responsible with regards to the money and making sure we're efficient with what we're doing."
The Lt. Governor also insists voting should be a priority, and more days to early vote would give constituents more leeway.
"If we can stand in line at Wal Mart, we can stand in line to get gas, we can stand in line to go to a concert, we should be able to make that a commitment to vote 30 days out, vote during early voting or vote on election day as well," said Carroll.
Representative Jones told Action News, she felt the Lt. Governor's comments were "insensitive."
For now, early voting is over, and if you haven't cast your ballot yet, your next opportunity to do so will be on election day.