Poll workers prepare for Election Day as early voting ends this weekend
TAMPA, Fla. - Early voting ended today in a few counties across the Bay Area, but residents in some counties have one last chance to cast a ballot in person before Election Day.
Hundreds of Hillsborough County clerks pulled up to the Robert Gilder Elections Service Center on Saturday morning to collect the supplies needed to manage the 246 polling locations that will open to voters on Tuesday.
"One of the bags we're picking it up is the 'Clerk's Spec'. It contains the electronic poll books we use to check voters in and all the paperwork that they may need to fill out forms. It's also got information in it that they'll be able to use in the polling site on Election Day. The other bag is empty, but that's what the ballots will be returned to our office in after 7 p.m. when they've stopped voting," stated Craig Latimer, Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections.
Time is of the essence for anyone who still needs to cast a ballot.
Early in-person voting officially wrapped up Saturday in Pasco, Polk, Citrus and Hernando Counties. But voters in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Sarasota, and Manatee Counties will have one more chance on Sunday.
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"Sunday. That's it," Latimer said. "That's the last day of early voting. If you want to early vote, get out to one of the 26 early vote sites that we have and get out early. Don't wait till the last minute."
Poll workers load up equipment in preparation for election day.
Latimer says about 30% of Hillsborough County have already voted and there has been a high return of vote-by-mail ballots, which can be submitted through Tuesday.
"Vote-by-mail ballots have to be in my office by 7 p.m. Tuesday Election Day," stated Latimer. "So, Sunday, you can drop that vote by mail ballot at any of the 26 early vote sites. After that, only my four offices. So don't get shut out. Get those vote-by-mail ballots in."
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Regardless of where you live and what party you represent, the message from election leaders like Latimer still stands - use your voice and vote.
This weekend is the last chance to cast a ballot during early voting.
"Keep going down the ballot so you can get to those local races where you've got county commissioners," he said. "In some cities, Temple Terrace has their Temple Terrace council seats on there. These are the people that deal with quality of life issues for you."
Anyone planning on casting a ballot this weekend must bring an appropriate form of photo and signature identification.