Arriving at the Bloomingdale Regional Library Saturday afternoon, Alberto Rivera didn't hesitate to join the line of early voters that extended down the library's driveway and onto the sidewalk adjacent to Bloomingdale Avenue.
"I'm here to vote," said a determined Rivera. "Heck, you stand in longer lines at Disney World."
At one point on Saturday, the line to vote ran west on Bloomingdale Avenue to Bloomingdale High School, where the high school parking lot accommodated the overflow of cars. An estimated 400 voters waited more than an hour for the privilege of exercising their democratic right.
Candidates Gail Gottlieb, D-Brandon, running for state representative, and Bob Henriquez, D-Tampa, a candidate for property appraiser, took advantage of the captive audience in line to do some campaigning.
According to the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Office, a record number of residents, 166,937, cast votes during the eight-day early voting period. The previous record was 146,558, set in 2008.
Days before the General Election, there's already been a 41.32 percent voter turnout. The Bloomingdale library accounted for 12,393 of the early votes.
For more information, call the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Office at 813-744-5900 or visit VoteHillsborough.org.