Have You Cast Your Ballot? Today is the Last Day for Early Voting

Procrastinators might want to rush to the nearest Early Voting site today.

More than 138,200 voters have cast Early Voting ballots in Hillsborough County for the General Election.

If you're not one of them, you can still rush to the nearest voting site today, the final day of early voting. Voting will take place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3.

Fifteen sites throughout Hillsborough County have been accepting early votes since Oct. 27.

Among the busier sites is the Bloomingdale Regional Library, 1906 Bloomingdale Ave., Valrico, where voters have faced lines meandering outside the library and down the sidewalk. As of Thursday, 8,549 voters had cast their ballots at the Bloomingdale library.

If you want to avoid the crowds in Bloomingdale, elections officials suggest heading to the Riverview Branch Library, 10509 Riverview Dr., Riverview, which has attracted 6,664 voters.

Poll workers also report short lines at the Elections Service Center, 2514 N. Falkenburg Rd., Tampa.

For those traditionalists who insist on voting on Election Day, polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6.

There are more than 300 polling places in Hillsborough County so be sure to check your voter information card for your precinct number and polling place address or use the Precinct Finder feature. On Election Day, you are required to vote in the precinct where you live.

Before heading to the polls:

Check out the sample ballot (attached to this article). To expedite the voting process, you can fill out the sample ballot in advance and bring it to your polling place to use as a cheat sheet.

Both photo and signature identification are required to vote a regular ballot in Florida. Voters without acceptable identification may still vote a provisional ballot, which will later be evaluated by a canvassing board for eligibility. To avoid delays at the polling place, voters should bring acceptable identification, which includes:

Florida driver license
Florida ID card (issued by DHSMV)
U.S. passport
Debit or credit card
Military ID
Student ID
Retirement center ID
Neighborhood association ID
Public assistance ID

When you arrive at the polls:

1. Show your valid and current photo and signature ID.

2. Sign the precinct register.

3. Receive your paper ballot and proceed to a privacy booth.

4. Using the black pen provided, completely fill in the oval next to each of your selections.

5. Review your ballot.

6. If you wish to make changes, request another ballot.

7. If you are satisfied with your selections:

  • Take your ballot to the optical scanner in the secrecy folder provided.
  • Insert your ballot into the optical scan feeder.

The scanner will record your votes and place your ballot into the locked ballot box.

The scanner will alert you if your ballot appears blank or contains one or more over votes.

- You will have the option to either vote the ballot as is, or make any changes.

- The scanner will not alert voters to under votes.

If you have any questions, ask a poll worker before you insert the ballot in the scanner. Once a ballot has been accepted, it cannot be retrieved.

If you need assistance at any time during the voting process, ask a poll worker for assistance. They are trained to guide you through the process and answer your questions.


Colter95 November 03, 2012 at 08:43 PM
Vote wisely: I saw Obama yesterday claiming the new job numbers are proof that his policies are working and that we are in an economic recovery... Fact is, that is not the truth, or even close to the truth... First, the unemployment rate ticked up to 7.9% and the year-to-date monthly average of 157,000 payroll jobs is barely enough to keep up with population growth -- much less make up for the 8 million jobs lost during the Great Recession. Second, the so-called real unemployment rate (U6) remains elevated at 14.6%, albeit down from 14.7% the prior month. Similarly, the labor participation rate is at 63.8%, up from its multi-decade low but still incredibly weak. Third, average hourly earnings fell a penny in October and average hours worked fell to 34.4 from 34.5 in September. Stagnant wages means "we're not generating income," Reinhart says. "That's a problem in terms of the durability of an economic expansion, which is usually fueled by consumption. To get consumption you've got to generate income." Also, just look at your checkbook. We are paying a lot more for everything now than we did in 2008. The price of gas has doubled. At the same time, wages have gone down, and that's if you're lucky to have a job. In 2008, 25 banks went out of business. In 2012, 48 banks have gone out of business. Almost double the amount. Does that sound like recovery to you? Don't believe the Obama lies!! Romney/Ryan 2012


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