Us Floridians know what it's like to be in the political spotlight, and not in a positive way.
Nationwide we have become a laughingstock, with people from all over asking the obvious question: "Why can't you guys get your elections together?"
That, however, is a question easier asked than answered.
The Tumblr blog called Postcards From America, which popped up this last week, tries to tackle the question indirectly. Featuring photos and commentaries from across the country, as well as photos from right here in South Florida, one can see a portrait of the individuals who this election has affected. The mood of South Florida on and before election day is perfectly captured.
Tuesday's election in Florida lasted until Saturday when the state was finally called for President Barack Obama. That's how long it took to sort through the mountains of absentee and other non-standard ballots.
President Obama may have not technically won the Cuban vote -- but he did manage to score the biggest share of this historically Republican vote that any Democratic presidential candidate has ever gotten.
For Palm Beach County Republican Chairman Sid Dinerstein, the re-election of President Obama wasn't a sudden disaster as much as a last straw. All over Europe and in big parts of the United States, he saw socialism on the rise and voters as its willing hostages.
Dinerstein had been watching with increasing alarm.
The Miami-Dade absentee ballots have all been counted. And color us blue. That blank on the U.S. map usually known as Florida is now filled in. Mitt Romney has conceded Florida. Miami-Dade County itself turned out for Barak Obama in a big way. The final results are : 62% for the President and 38% for Mitt Romney. Now the attention turns to what took so long and how to prevent a repeat performance. Elections Supervisor Penelope Townsley admits more and larger locations are needed and says her department, along with the mayor's office, will examine what can be done differently.
Miami Dade County election workers are expecting to finish processing absentee ballots sometime today. Then, they'll be able to tell President Obama whether he also won Florida on election day.
The bags of thousands of ballots are the result of a series of voting snafus related to high turnout and restrictive voting rules that persuaded hordes of local voters to vote absentee rather than wait in line, possibly for hours, at their polling stations.
Carlos Almeida (left), a 19-year-old sushi chef, was the first in line ahead of the 120 to 130 voters outside his precinct in Doral. He rode his bike to the polls at 3:30 a.m. because he didn’t want to wait all day on a recovering broken leg.
Credit Courtesy of Ellen Elias and Raya Elias-Pushett
Raya Elias (right), 18, drove home from Gainesville, where she could have registered. “Do you really care what's happening in Gainesville or do you care more about where your parents are paying taxes and where your siblings still are and everything?"
Credit Danny Rivero
Olga Marcucci (far left, purple shirt) became an American citizen about two years ago. "Coming from Venezuela, I am (happy). That's why I don't mind if I have to wait five hours or ten hours. I'll vote."
Credit Sarah Gonzalez
Alise Casteel, 19, was the last voter to walk out of the African American Research Library precinct. "I grew up around this neighborhood all my life so it’s actually cool to vote somewhere when you know people around here."
Tuesday may have been the second time Barack Obama won a presidential race, but Election Day was a day of many firsts here in South Florida.
We spoke to several first-time voters who were at the polls Tuesday. Some of the first-timers were young adults, finally old enough to vote in their first presidential election. Other voters were new American citizens.
Check out this slide show of first-time voter stories.