Central Florida polls close after day of long lines

Recent polls show presidential race in dead heat

ORLANDO, Fla. - The polls have closed throughout Central Florida and as results are tabulated, many people are still in line waiting to vote.

Elections officials said anyone in line when the polls close at 7 p.m. will be allowed to vote Tuesday. Polls in the Panhandle close at 8 p.m. CST.

Quinn said the Seminole County office saw problems with mismarked ballots and voters who need to change their address or showed up at the wrong polling locations.

[PHOTOS: Long lines in Central Fla. | Voters cast ballots across the nation]

State officials say more than 4.5 million people have already voted in Florida, either by mail or in person. Officials say 43 percent of those voters were Democrats and 39 percent were Republicans.


Long lines formed at some Central Florida polling locations before 7 a.m. Tuesday, including a polling place at 15501 Towne Commons Blvd. in Winter Garden. Voter Paula Keys told Local 6 she spent most of her time reading the ballot.

"It took me about two hours of research," Keys said.

Meanwhile, Gov. Rick Scott has cast his ballot in his hometown of Naples.  Scott waited in line for about 40 minutes before voting around 8 a.m. Tuesday. The governor was voting with his wife, daughter and son-in-law.

Scott called Election Day "a great day for America." He says he voted for Republicans Mitt Romney for president and Connie Mack for the U.S. Senate.

There are nearly 12 million registered voters in Florida, and the Sunshine State is poised to play a crucial role in picking America's next president. Florida has 29 electoral votes and both President Barack Obama and Romney have worked hard for them.

The Interstate 4 media market reaches slightly more than half of the Florida voters and has picked 9 of the last 10 presidential election winners. In 2008, Obama won the I-4 corridor by 3.6 percentage points, helping him win the state by 2.8 points.

Obama won Orange and Osceola counties by 19 points, which a huge margin that early and absentee voting trends this year indicate he won't likely come close to it. The president could lose Florida and still have many paths to 270 votes.

Recent polls show the presidential race in a dead heat.

Watch Local 6 News for more on this story.

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