Early voting begins: Lines reported at some Tampa Bay sites on first day of early voting

Election

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Election Day is still a couple of weeks away but voting is already underway in Florida and is expected to ramp up after early voting started on Monday.

Florida’s Department of State requires counties to open early voting from at least Saturday, Oct. 24 through Saturday, Oct. 31 this year. But most counties in the Tampa Bay area decided to offer more days of early voting to give voters more opportunity to make their voices heard.

If you’re voting in person, make sure to bring a valid photo identification and a signature identification to your early voting site. Voters are allowed to vote at any early voting site that’s open within your county – it doesn’t have to be your specific precinct or regular poll location.

8 On Your Side monitored sites across the Tampa Bay area on Monday, including ones in Hillsborough County. Hillsborough’s supervisor of elections website showed an hour-long wait at a handful of the county’s 26 early voting sites.

“It’s the first time I’ve ever voted,” Angela Jimenez said.

The 31-year-old went to the Town ‘N’ Country site a few hours after polls opened.

“How long did the entire process take you?” Investigator Mahsa Saeidi asked.

“About two hours,” said Jimenez. “It was just a long wait, especially with two kids. It’s not easy waiting a long time but it wasn’t so rough.”

The lines were much shorter for other voters in Hillsborough County. Ok Azie cast his ballot at the New Tampa Regional Library site.

“It took me less than an hour,” said Azie. “We already made up our mind who to vote for, so why wait?”

You can find a full list of locations and hours for early voting in the Tampa Bay area counties here.

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