MIAMI
11/08/2012 08:49 am ET Updated Nov 08, 2012

Miami-Dade Still Counting Ballots Thursday (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

It's Thursday, and Miami-Dade County Elections workers are still counting ballots.

The hangup is one of several across Florida, once again the black sheep of a U.S. election, delaying several close local races and making it impossible to call the state's 29 electoral college votes.

How long will take? About 10,000 absentee ballots were still being counted in Miami Wednesday night, according to the Miami Herald, after officials reported 20,000 remaining Wednesday morning. Each of the some 50,000 pages remaining has to be checked one by one and verified for signature.

"This may not be a quick process," said Elections Supervisor Penelope Townsley, who indicated the final tally come come Thursday.

It may take even longer to make Florida official: Secretary of State spokesman Chris Cate told Reuters "every county must report their unofficial results to us by Saturday at noon."

In Miami, local officials blamed the longest ballot in state history, which ballooned to at least 10 pages across the county when the GOP-led Florida legislature piled on 11 confusingly-worded amendments printed in full. (It did not go well for them.)

Election officials also acknowledged failing to make the propert adjustments after voters stood in terribly and often prohibitively long lines during eight days of early voting, which had been reduced by the legislature from 14 days.

Despite assurances they would be better served with 829 precincts open on Election Day, voters again suffered six-hour waits in multiple locations. The last vote in Miami-Dade was cast sometime around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday.

"Staffing, equipment, there are many lessons, that can be taken away from this election," Townsley told CBSMiami.

But though Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez's office said the embarrassingly long count was "in no way representative of any issues or delays, but a matter of unprecedented volume," it didn't go unnoticed that Gimenez had declined to ask Florida Governor Rick Scott to extend early voting by executive order.

Or that Gimenez temporarily shut down a last-minute extra in-person absentee balloting period Sunday afternoon, sending voters home.

"Bureaucrats worry about procedures. Mayors worry about people," groused CBSMiami's veteran newsman Jim Defede, who said the Sunday debacle revealed Gimenez to be a "bureaucrat, not a leader."

While the presidential race remains tight statewide -- with Barack Obama leading 49.9-49.3 -- it is not close in Miami-Dade County. Obama, who was declared president after taking Ohio Tuesday night, is up 62-38 as votes still trickle in.

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