HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Florida – Election officials are urging voters not to wait until the last minute to register to vote.
The deadline ends on Monday 5th October.
Regulators are already reporting thousands of ballot papers that are being returned.
“We urge people to get your ballot back quickly and they’ll listen,” said Craig Latimer, Hillsborough County. “I think they’ll get their ballots back quickly. We’re seeing a brisk turnout with people dropping their ballots, especially in our office on Falkenburg Road. It’s almost like a car parade out there with people waiting to cast their ballot. “
Latimer said they emailed nearly 380,000 ballots to people who requested them and got more than 30,000 back.
Tents will be handed in at all four Hillsborough County office locations starting Thursday. More information can be found here.
On Wednesday, they had a public ballot scanner logic and accuracy test using a test deck used in this election to make sure every vote is counted accurately.
“We had a very successful result for the public logic and accuracy test. The machines will now be locked, sealed and eventually used in the community for voting and early polling sites as well as election day, ”said Latimer.
Pinellas County is now enjoying record numbers.
“This is a record year. Pinellas County’s people are very involved, ”said Julie Marcus, the Pinellas County’s election officer.
She said the county has also seen the most registered voters it has ever had, with more than 703,000.
“One of the biggest things we face in this election cycle is misinformation and trying to get through all of these weeds to make sure voters have the information they need to be able to vote in these elections” , she said.
In Pinellas County, Marcus said voters can drop off their postal ballot papers at drop-off points across the county during early voting and on the Monday before election day if they don’t return by mail. More information can be found here.
“Democracy is alive and well. We cast our vote last Thursday by postal vote. It was about a third of our total electoral roll, which was a new record, and the first day we really got it back was yesterday and we got historical numbers back – over 10,000 plus in one day, ”said Brian Corley, the Pasco County election officer.
Voters must request a postal ballot and remember to sign it. Corley said if you have any questions, ask your election officer. If you decide to vote in person, he recommends bringing the ballot paper with you to the vote and handing it in. The ballot papers must be returned to the office of the election officer by the end of the day on November 3rd.
However, there is no doubt that the year was different for many.
“My colleagues and I – since March – we learned a lot back then and certainly learned a lot in the last elementary school in August. Things like plexiglass shields, masks, disinfectants, and social distancing. We did it and we will make it for this upcoming general election, ”Corley said.
All three election officers in the district offer ways to track your postal voting through their websites.