Early voting ends today
JOE SEELIGSEBRING - The lobby at the Highlands County Government Center was fairly packed Friday afternoon with early voters, but for those registered voters who haven't yet done so, early voting ends today.
Published: November 3, 2012
Published: November 3, 2012
Supervisor of Elections Joe Campbell said Friday he saw it packed this way in 2008.
"It's crowded right now," he said, adding he didn't know how Lake Placid and Avon Park's early voting sites were doing. "Usually if we're busy, they're busy."
Campbell predicted a 70 percent voter turnout, which has been pretty common for presidential elections, he said.
There will not be any early voting Sunday or Monday. Voting will resume Election Day Tuesday at the local precincts.
"This is your chance to get it done early and avoid possible lines at the polling places, especially at the larger precincts such as precincts 4, 5, 13, 15, 16, 17, 19 and 25," the Highlands County Supervisor of Elections website suggests.
"They're moving it pretty quick in there," he said. "This was the first time I've early voted."
Before that he always voted on Election Day, he said.
Richard Lindsay, 70, of Sebring guessed it took him about 10 to 12 minutes.
"They've got it pretty well organized," he said, noting they gave out numbers. "They called out the numbers in pretty good-sized batches. Inside they had people directing you, keeping things going. I hope all the people I voted for win."
Of those who voted, 6,351 were registered Republicans, 4,486 were registered Democrats and 1,782 were listed as "Other."
The elections office reported a total number of absentee ballots sent to 4,347 Democrats, 4,870 Republicans and 1,402 other, for a total of 10,619. It was unclear how many had been returned. Campbell believed it was more than 8,000.
Make sure to bring a Florida driver's license, a Florida identification card or another form of picture and signature identification in order to vote.
According to its Supervisor of Elections website, as of the closing of the books Oct. 9, Highlands County had 23,235 registered Democrats, 27,412 registered Republicans and 11,429 others registered for a total of 62,076.
"The League of Women Voters of Florida," state president Deirdre Macnab said, "is extremely concerned that such long waits are discouraging to voters whose schedules and or physical conditions cannot accommodate these types of delays."
When asked Thursday night whether he would extend early voting through Sunday, the Republican governor said no, according to TBO.
"Early voting will end Saturday night," Scott told reporters at a GOP fundraiser in Newberry. "But I want everybody to get out to vote."
Campbell said if he had been asked to do so, his office certainly could have handled the request.
"It would affect us because I've got people who have been working 11 hours a day — in fact, our poll workers will be working on Tuesday again, so I was hoping they'd have Sunday and Monday to rest up.
"The chances are we could do it here because we're using public buildings … so we could get in there OK … but it would affect us a whole lot because that Sunday we're working putting poll books together and this and that. It would affect us all around but we could do it."
For more information, call the Supervisor of Elections Office at 402-6655 or go to www.votehighlands.com/
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