News-Sun file photo The 10-day early voting period allows voters to avoid the crowd on the regular election day.
published: Friday, August 03, 2012
Early voting starts Saturday
By SCOTT DRESSEL
SEBRING -- Early voting for the primary election begins Saturday, giving voters a chance to avoid the crowds on the traditional polling day.
Any qualified voter can drop by one of the three early voting locations and cast their vote from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on every day except Sunday, when the hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The early voting period ends on Saturday, Aug. 11.
The locations for early voting are:
-- the Highlands County Gov-ernment Center, 600 S. Commerce Ave., Sebring.
-- Avon Park City Hall council chambers, 123 E. Pine St., Avon Park.
-- Lake Placid Town Hall council chambers, 311 W. Interlake Blvd., Lake Placid.
The voter must present a Florida driver's license, a Florida identification card or another form of picture and signature identification in order to vote.
Supervisor of Elections Joe Campbell said he expects the turnout for the primary to be about normal for a presidential election year.
"In a presidential year the turnout will usually be higher than in a gubernatorial year because you've got all this stuff on TV," he said. "In a gubernatorial year, we will run around 50 percent. When you come to a presidential election we will have right around 70 percent."
The early voting period will allow voters to avoid the lines that may form at the polls on the regular voting day, especially in the larger precincts like 4, 5, 13, 15, 16, 17, 19 and 25.
And voters don't have to vote in their precincts during early voting, Campbell said. They can stop by any of the three locations.
"If you live in Avon Park and are down in Lake Placid doing something and want to vote, you can stop in and vote," Campbell said.
The majority of the primary action will be on the Republican side of the ticket, which should draw more of that party's voters to the polls than Democrats or those with no party affiliation.
All three ballots will include the Circuit Judge elections for 10th Circuit in Group 7 (Larry Helms, Bill Sites and Christine Trakas Thornhill) and in Group 27 (Catherine L. Combee and Mark Kaylor), as well as the School Board District 3 seat (MaryAnn Lewis and Jan Shoop).
The Democrat ballot will include the U.S. Senate primary (Glenn A. Burkett and Bill Nelson).
The Republican ballot will also have primaries for the U.S. Senate (George LeMieux, Deon Long, Connie Mack, Mike McCallister, Marielena Stuart and Dave Weldon), the District 17 U.S. House of Representatives (Joe Arnold and Tom Rooney), District 55 State House (Randy Johnson, Cary Pigman), the Superintendent of Schools (Wally Cox, Pep Hutchinson and Roberta Peck), the Supervisor of Elections (Susie Bishop, David Flowers and Penny Ogg), District 1 County Commissioner (Will Bennett and Jim Brooks) and the District 3 County Commissioner (Jeri Canale, Nadine Elliott-Tedstone and Ron Handley).
Sample ballots and other voting information can be found online at www.votehighlands.com/
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