By David Damron and Scott Powers, Orlando Sentinel
December 29, 2012
After working a 10-hour shift on Election Day, Richard Jordan headed to his east Orange County polling place at about 4:30 p.m. Based on more than a decade of voting, he expected to be in and out in minutes.
Three hours later, Jordan's back ached, he was hungry, thirsty — and nowhere near a voting booth. So he left. As it turned out, his Goldenrod Road precinct didn't close until 11 p.m.
"The line just wasn't moving," said the 42-year-old Democrat, who added that he now regrets not voting. "It was so depressing." Like Jordan, as many as 49,000 people across Central Florida were discouraged from voting because of long lines on Election Day, according to a researcher at Ohio State University who analyzed election data compiled by the Orlando Sentinel.
About 30,000 of those discouraged voters — most of them in Orange and Osceola counties — likely would have backed Democratic President Barack Obama, according to Theodore Allen, an associate professor of industrial engineering at OSU.
About 19,000 voters would have likely backed Republican Mitt Romney, Allen said.