Early voting begins in Pasco, Hillsborough counties

Voters will head to the polls on Nov. 6 for the 2018 Mid-Term Elections, but a significant number won’t be waiting until then.

A good portion of voters decide who they want to represent them while filling out their ballots in the comfort of their own living room, and dropping them into the mail.

Early voting has begun for the 2018 Mid-Term Elections. There are various early voting places in Pasco and Hillsborough counties. (File)

Another part of the electorate streams to various polling places, taking advantage of early voting options. Of course, there are also those who prefer the tradition of voting on Election Day itself.

Whatever method they use, those casting ballots have the opportunity to weigh in on races and issues, ranging from who will be Florida’s representatives in Congress, to who will occupy the state’s governor’s mansion, to who will make local decisions affecting everything from job creation, to road congestion, to the quality of local schools.

Pasco and Hillsborough voters also will decide the outcome of 12 constitutional amendments or revisions.

In Pasco, voters also will decide the fate of four general obligation issues to pay for a jail expansion; additional fire protection; enhanced libraries; and, enhanced parks. The bonds would be repaid through increased property taxes.

In Hillsborough, voters will decide the fate of a referendum to raise the local sales tax to support transportation improvements; and, another referendum to raise the local sales tax to support air conditioning and other capital improvements in public schools.

Here’s a recap of key races on the 2018 ballot within The Laker/Lutz News coverage area; a listing of local early polling places; and a reminder of what voters should bring with them to the polls.

Key races

U.S. Senate: Rick Scott vs. Bill Nelson
U.S. Rep. District 12: Gus Bilirakis vs. Chris Hunter

Governor: Ron DeSantis vs. Andrew Gillum
Attorney General: Ashley Moody vs. Sean Shaw
Chief Financial Officer: Jimmy Petronis vs. Jeremy Ring
Commissioner of Agriculture: Matt Caldwell vs. Nicole ‘Nikki’ Fried
State Senate District 20: Kathy Lewis vs. Tom Lee
State Senate District 10: Michael Cottrell vs. Wilton Simpson
State Representative District 37: Tammy Garcia vs. Ardian Zika
State Representative District 38: Danny Burgess vs. David “TK” Hayes
State Representative, District 64: James Grant vs. Jessica Harrington


Pasco County Commission
District 2: Mike Moore vs. Kelly Smith
District 4: Mike Wells vs. Brandi Geoit

Pasco School Board
District 5: Megan Harding vs. Tara M. O’Connor

Hillsborough County Commission
District 5: Victor Crist vs. Mariella Smith
District 7: Todd Marks vs. Kimberly Overman

Hillsborough School Board
District 1
William Henry Person vs. Steve Cona

District 6
Karen Perez vs. Henry “Shake” Washington

Sheriff: Chad Chronister vs. Gary Pruitt

 Early Voting Places (located within The Laker/Lutz News coverage area)

Pasco County: Through Nov. 3, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

  • East Pasco Government Center, Lobby, 14326 Sixth St., Dade City
  • Alice Hall Community Center, 36116 Fifth Ave., Zephyrhills
  • New River Branch Library, 34043 State Road 54, Wesley Chapel
  • Florida Hospital Center Ice, 3173 Cypress Ridge Blvd., Wesley Chapel
  • Land O’ Lakes Branch Library, 2818 Collier Parkway, Land O’ Lakes
  • Utilities Administration Building, 19420 Central Blvd., Land O’ Lakes

Hillsborough County: Through Nov. 4,  7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

  • Jimmie B. Keel Regional Library, 2902 W. Bearss Ave., Tampa
  • Keystone Recreation Center, 17928 Gunn Highway, Odessa
  • New Tampa Regional Library, 10001 Cross Creek Blvd.

What Voters Should Bring
Florida law requires voters to present both signature and photo identification. This can be achieved with one form of identification, such as a Florida driver license or U.S. Passport, or two separate forms of identification, such as a membership card with your photo and second form of identification with your signature. If you don’t bring your ID, you may vote a provisional ballot.

For more information, visit PascoVotes.com and VoteHillsborough.org.

Published October 24, 2018

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