Officials prep ahead of early voting

- In-person voting will begin in most Bay Area counties on Monday morning.

There are 14 days of early voting - marking a significant increase from 2012, when early voting was open for only eight days.

"In this day and age, when we are being tugged in so many different directions, this gives you no excuse whatsoever not to participate in the process," said Richard Rodriguez of Brandon.

Early voting will end on November 6, two days before Election Day. In Hillsborough County in 2012, 62-percent of voters weighed in before Election Day - either by mail or in person.

For information on voting early in other Bay Area counties, check the following links: 

Citrus County Early Voting
Hardee County Early Voting
Highlands County Early Voting
Manatee County Early Voting
Pasco County Early Voting
Pinellas County Early Voting
Polk County Early Voting
Sarasota County Early Voting

"We do expect some possible delays because of turnout, but the lines will be moving, there shouldn't be delays of any length," said Craig Latimer, the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections.

Meanwhile, Democrats are in a good mood. In 2012, Politico says Republicans held a 5.5-percent margin in mail ballots and President Obama still won the state.

This time, Democrats are entering early voting behind by only 1.8-percent. They believe if Hillary Clinton can win here, the election is almost certain to be hers.

The vote-counting system has seldom been questioned the way it's being now, with Republican Donald Trump insisting a conspiracy exists to favor Hillary Clinton. Latimer says Trump is wrong.

"We have seen a tremendous amount of elections officials from different parties across the country, that have said we are going to have a good election. Elections are not rigged," he said.

Hillsborough county has added 140,000 voters since 2012. The extended early voting time is well-received.

Early voting opens on Monday in most of the counties in our area. All counties will be open by Nov. 29.

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