Election supervisors in Pasco and Hillsborough counties plan to expand opportunities to voters in the coming General Election, to make it easier for them to have their voices heard.
Pasco County Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley has announced plans to add more early voting sites for this year’s Presidential Election.
The county also will extend the length of the early voting period, according to a news release from Corley’s office.
The changes are being made “in anticipation of increased voter turnout and the inevitable potential for long lines and wait times due to social distancing and CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)-recommended cleaning guidelines,” the release says.
The early voting period in Pasco County is Oct. 18 through Oct. 31, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., including weekends.
The county also has increased the number of early voting sites.
“A longer voting period and a total of 14 locations marks a new high for Pasco County,” the release from Corley’s office reports.
“In partnership with Pasco County Administration, we have secured additional sites to include Veterans Memorial Park Gymnasium, J. Ben Harrill Recreation Complex Gymnasium, Land O’ Lakes Recreation Complex Gymnasium and Wiregrass Ranch Sports Campus,” Corley says, in the release. “The response from Dan Biles, County Administrator, was without hesitation and completely in the spirit of being on the same team.”
The release also notes that the addition of county sports complexes and gymnasiums will give Pasco voters more options for casting their ballot in-person, and, in terms of size, will accommodate more voters while still social distancing. The Land O’ Lakes Recreation Complex Gymnasium will replace the Land O’ Lakes Library. The library, which is next to the recreation complex, has been a well-attended early voting site, the release says.
Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer reports that his county has 24 early voting locations — offering convenient options for voters throughout the county.
Hillsborough County will begin mailing out vote-by-mail ballots on Sept. 24. Ballots must be return to the supervisor’s office by 7 p.m. on Nov. 3, which is Election Day.
Hillsborough also is adding curbside drop-off tents at Latimer’s four offices, which will operate seven days a week, beginning Oct. 1.
Early voting in Hillsborough is Oct. 19 through Nov. 1, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Nationally, President Donald Trump has raised questions about the integrity of the vote-by-mail process, although he has said that Florida’s vote-by-mail system is safe and secure.
Latimer assured voters that “in Florida, our systems will not allow us to accept more than one ballot from a voter.
“A voter’s record is updated to show that a mail ballot has been mailed to them, and updated again when the voted mail ballot has been received and verified.
“Poll workers have this information during early voting and Election Day. If a voter has received a vote-by-mail ballot and shows up to vote in person, one of two things happen: “If the ballot has not been received yet, the voter may vote in person and their mail ballot will be canceled. If the mail ballot arrives at the office after they voted in person, the mail ballot will not be accepted.
“If that voter’s vote-by-mail ballot has already been received, it is deemed “cast” and they will not be allowed to cast an in-person vote,” Latimer said, via email.
For a list of early voting locations and other election information, visit PascoVotes.gov.
For the same type of information in Hillsborough County, visit VoteHillsborough.org.
Published September 09, 2020