HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – The clock is ticking as early voting is set to end this weekend. So far, Florida is breaking records with over 3.1 million people voting early.
Voting rights groups and politicians are scrambling to get as many people to the polls before time runs out, and we’re seeing longer lines at some early voting locations. As we near the final days of early voting, those lines could get even longer.
“We are seeing voting right now of a kind we have never seen before in American history. People are turning out early in a way that we have never seen before, and that may be the way of the future,” said NBC News presidential historian Michael Beschloss.
State numbers show Republicans have cast their ballots in person more than Democrats, although Democrats are leading the charge in mail-in ballots. Those who registered to vote by mail can skip the lines by dropping off their mail-in ballot in person.
Early voting locations have drop off boxes that bypass the USPS and get ballots in the hands of election officials that day. Of the nearly 6 million people who registered to vote in Florida, 1.7 million have yet to cast their ballot.
Counting all those votes can be a daunting task.
“We start counting the ballots 22 days before the election in the vote by mail ballots. By law, I have to upload the early vote totals into the server on the monday before the election. So certainly, after seven o’clock on election night, we’re going to be releasing a lot of unofficial results,” Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer.
Several groups are going to be out doing everything they can to get people early voting. The deadline for early voting is Sunday at 7 p.m.
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