Miami: Hundreds of attorneys and volunteers from the presidential campaigns of Donald Trump and Joe Biden have deployed to Florida polling stations to make sure votes for their candidates are respected, as record numbers of people cast ballots early.
The tensions are especially high due to the fear of coronavirus and violence in polling stations, coupled with the history of Florida’s controversial election history (ending in vote counting or even court battles).
Republican Trump and Democrat Biden are actually tied together in Florida, which accounts for 29 key electors. It will take 270 votes to win the US presidency on November 3.
“We cannot trust those Democrats,” said Cristiano Piquet, 43, a Republican and Brazilian-American who was casting his early vote at a Miami polling station while carrying a US flag.
“They re pure evil and they are capable of anything. So I want to make sure that my vote counts,” he told AFP, explaining why he voted early instead of by mail.
Juan Carlos Planas, one of the 1,421 registered observers in the densely populated Miami-Dade County of southern Florida, wanted to ease this fear.
“There s never been a credible case of election fraud in the general election,” Planas told AFP.
He is a former Republican state representative and has observed elections-this year is the Democratic Observation Day.
“Here there really isn t any sort of fraud or let alone massive fraud, it just doesn t happen,” he said.
The 14 million registered voters in Florida can vote by mail. This is a method that has been widely used since 2002. Democrats have always preferred this method, partly because it keeps people away from the crowd and away from the virus.
However, Trump has made it clear that he does not trust the mailing system-although he has voted by mail in places where he has a residence in Florida in the past, and said that Florida’s mailing system is trustworthy.
Floridans can also vote in person at early polling stations like Piquet, or they can vote on November 3, when Republicans will vote in large numbers.