The exodus follows the Chavez-mandated closing of the Venezuelan consulate in Miami. According to The Miami Herald, 20,000 Venezuelan voters are registered in South Florida, 9,000 of which traveled to New Orleans for the last election in October.
"I'm doing this for those still in Venezuela, like my father, and for my children: to give them a chance for change," Saul Rosa, 49, told the Sun Sentinel.
More than 3.300 voters are headed to New Orleans this time around, and by 10 a.m. Sunday, more than 2,000 people had already voted, Pedro Mena, head of the Mesa de Unidad Democrática in Miami, told The Miami Herald.
This election sets Vice President Nicolas Maduro against former presidential contender Henrique Capriles. Chavez chose Maduro as his official successor before his death and was sworn in as acting president.
While civic groups were able to raise large amounts of money to send voters to New Orleans in October, the Venezuelan government called this election quickly, leaving groups with less time to collect funds, according to the Sun Sentinel.
"I can't pay at least $1,200 for flights, food and other expenses," voter Carlos Daniel Lugo told the newspaper.
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