Early voting started here in Florida today and voters are turning out in droves, lining up despite rain showers and gusty winds. In Boca Raton, some anticipated the long lines and camped out overnight to be the first in line to cast their votes. The enthusiasm, however, seems limited to Obama supporters.
In Boynton Beach, the early voters line was swamped by an even longer line of citizens waiting at the Civic Center next door, where the Obama campaign was giving out 500 tickets for an Obama appearance tomorrow in nearby Lake Worth. The tickets ran out in a matter of minutes, many in the crowd turned away empty handed.
Susan Horne, a Boynton Beach resident proudly said she was the second voter in Palm Beach County. "I voted for Barack Obama and I hope he's our next president."
Sonya Mitchell, another early voter said she was voting for Obama, too, "and it's not because he's Black, either. I'd vote across party lines for a good candidate, even though I'm a registered Democrat."
John Gavriluk of Delray Beach said he's a small-business owner voting for Obama. "Yes, enthusiastically so. He is visionary, like Colin Powell said in endorsing him. And he does represent a new generation of Americans who are united because he's a 'new breed of politician.' He's articulate, he's bright and he has an even, thoughtful temperament. Our country needs that right now."
Florence Rein and her husband Rubin were waiting, too. "I'll be 89-years old tomorrow and if Obama wins the election I'll think of it as a birthday present. My husband is 93 years old, and we're both voting for Obama." Said Rubin: "It's all about the issues facing our country right now. This crisis has forced Americans to think hard about the future."
"It's also time for us Caucasians to put aside any remaining prejudice. Barack Obama is a beautiful young man," said Florence. "Although I was originally a Hillary supporter, I'm voting for Barack Obama because he represents our future as a country."
Mac Arthur of Boynton Beach emigrated from Haiti and became a citizen only last year. "We really need to reset the button on the way we are seen in the world. Barack Obama represents that change. For the last eight years the way we have been viewed is not what we are about in America."
No McCain supporters in line were willing to step forward.