The line of voters stretched down the sidewalk at The Groves in Land O’ Lakes, as people waited patiently for the doors to open at 7 a.m.
Even after voting began, the line continued to swell.
Long lines also formed at Lexington Oaks, off Wesley Chapel Boulevard.
By 9 a.m., the line in Lexington Oaks was gone, replaced by a late morning trickle of people coming and going.
Wesley Chapel resident Dashawn Williams, who voted at Lexington Oaks, said lines during early voting had been much longer.
On Nov. 8, he said he was done in about 5 minutes. “It was easy,” he said.
Meanwhile, at Myrtle Lake Baptist Church, off Collier Parkway, U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis stopped by in his tour bus.
He began his rounds in Dade City and planned to make 19 stops.
“It’s a good opportunity to thank the volunteers,” Bilirakis said.
Here’s a synopsis of what some voters had to say on Election Day 2016.
James Beverly, Wesley Chapel
James Beverly said he lives in a neighborhood that’s apparently filled with Donald J. Trump supporters.
Beverly, however, is not one of them.
“The man is a complete idiot,” Beverly said. “He’s a joke.”
He’s worried about what happens after the election. “It scares me,” Beverly said.
The election of Hillary Rodham Clinton as the nation’s first woman president, on the other hand, would be historic.
“It will bring world peace and harmony,” Beverly said. “It would make the world stop looking at us like a joke, like at SNL (Saturday Night Live).”
Jim Beidler, Land O’ Lakes
Jim Beidler, a Navy veteran from Land O’ Lakes, supported Donald J. Trump.
“I don’t like her lies and her attitude toward Benghazi. That is wrong,” he said of Clinton.
Beidler thinks more highly of Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, than he does of Trump.
“He’s more well-rounded,” Beidler said. “He has a filter. He’s not throwing words out.”
Lori Wright, Land O’ Lakes
Lori Wright, of Land O’ Lakes, said Hillary Rodham Clinton would be dangerous as president.
“I don’t think she has the best interests of the American people at heart,” she said. “She put us in danger with her lazy handling of information. And, she allowed men in Benghazi to die.”
But, she also said she would accept the election’s outcome.
“I believe God will put whomever He wants in office,” she said.
On the other hand, she added, “I’m here doing my part.”
Melina and Adam Mays, Land O’ Lakes
Melina and Adam Mays looked to their faith to inform their presidential decision.
They cast votes for Donald J. Trump and Mike Pence at The Groves. The couple was joined by their children, Kaelyn, 4, and Wyatt, 2.
“We’ve been praying a lot about it. I’m very pro-life and Catholic,” Melina Mays said.
The couple was troubled by the ugliness of the election.
“We’re tired of the commercials. It’s been a rough campaign,” Adam Mays said.
Sherri Maged, Land O’ Lakes
Sherri Maged said she came out to vote at the Land O’ Lakes Community Center to fulfill her civic duty.
She voted for Donald J. Trump, but wasn’t enthused about Trump or Hillary Rodham Clinton.
“This was very difficult. I don’t like either one of them,” Naged said, adding she has never felt as conflicted about an election as she did this year.
Jamie Nevitt, Land O’ Lakes
Jamie Levitt, 34, of Land O’ Lakes, said she voted for Hillary Rodham Clinton.
“I feel like they both have a lot of issues,” she said, a sentiment she believes was shared by most voters.
Still, she thought Clinton was the superior candidate.
“We all have to kind of decide who we think would do best for the country, even though the choices are not spectacular,” said Nevitt, who gave her dad a ride to the Lutz Community Center on Election Day, so he could vote.
Deb Goldman, Lutz
Deb Goldman came to the Lutz Community Center three times on Election Day.
“I teach Jazzercise. I taught a class at 5:45 this morning, and at 7, the line was out the building. So, I went home. I came back at 8:10 and there were still more cars than this in the parking lot. So, I go do my class (at 8:30). So, I came back. This time, no lines, no waiting.
“I supported Donald Trump. I thought he was the better candidate.”
Jill Weber, Zephyrhills
Jill Weber, 67, who voted at the Alice Hall Community Center in Zephyrhills, had issues with Amendment 2, the Florida Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative.
“I think they need to rewrite that,” she said. “I am for medical marijuana, but they write other things in there that makes it not good.
“I don’t want kids being able to go into these quick gas stations and buying Spice (synthetic marijuana).”
Weber added that marijuana “should be sold at a doctor’s office” and shouldn’t be legalized for recreational usage, which she thinks will increase crime.
“Somebody’s got to look at it with some common sense,” she said.
Weber said she voted for Trump based on his economic plans.
Laker/Lutz News staff writers B.C. Manion and Kevin Weiss contributed to this report.
Published November 16, 2016