Panama City Beach - The polls opened at 7AM Tuesday but it didn't take long for a very long line to form at one Bay County voting location. Some voters waited for two hours before casting their ballot at the La Quinta on Panama City Beach.
At 10:30 Tuesday morning the line of voters stretched down the hallway, through the lobby and out into the parking lot. Shirley Merglewski waited nearly two hours to cast her ballot. "Hopefully we won't be here too much longer," she said.
The problem? A high volume of voters all at once and a precinct not ready to handle the morning rush. "The room was not set up originally the way it was supposed to be as far as the booths and the volume. If you didn't stay ahead of the volume at the very beginning this morning it would just slam you to where we are right now so we are just trying to get caught back up," said Bay County Supervisor of Elections Mark Andersen.
Andersen delivered 11 additional voting booths to get that line moving, just 8 had been set up previously. It worked quickly, immediately alleviating the backup. "The good news is people are voting, but I think they all showed up at the same time. But the line is moving again and we will get people processed very quickly," said Andersen.
While some were aggravated by the long wait, Merglewski said she would have waited as long as it took. "It's very important. I think everyone should come out and vote. This is our country."