‘It’s an important year’: Pinellas County candidates speak out about the importance of early voting

Pinellas County

ST.PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – It’s day one of early voting and many around Tampa Bay are casting their ballots. Both candidates hoping to win Pinellas County spoke with News Channel 8.

Opposing candidates Representative Charlie Crist and Anna Paulina Luna don’t see eye to eye on much but today they spoke out with the same message, “vote and vote early.”

“I want to encourage everyone to get out to vote, an early vote is great, you can already have it done,” Crist said.

“Show up, make sure you have your hand sanitizer, but show up, it’s an important year,” Luna said.

Democratic Representative Charlie Crist joined Hispanic leaders from around the county on Monday at the Seminole dropbox location to promote early voting.

“To all our friends in the Hispanic community, the African American community, and to the community at large… this election is so critical. Everybody, everybody should get out and vote. Muy important,” Crist said.

Crist continued, “It’s so important… our precious and cherished right to exercise the right to vote.”

News Channel 8’s Christine McLarty also spoke with Republican Candidate Anna Paulina Luna, who said as a woman of Hispanic descent, she understands the pressures minorities face when it comes to elections.

“I will say, having personally gone through it, there is an aspect of suppression for minorities that are republican or conservative. I think people don’t want to fight or engage in something that might be confrontational,” Luna said.

Luna said she encourages everyone to vote based on the morals surrounding issues.

“Always make sure you’re voting based on values, not necessarily party. No party or candidate is perfect, but when you have your moral values, vote on that and you’ll never be let down,” Luna said.

Voters we spoke with said it’s was a quick process for them.

“It was very easy, took me about 30 minutes, everyone there was very helpful,” May Devine said.

She was one of many to vote in Clearwater Monday morning.

“I was expecting 45 minutes, an hour, or an hour and a half,” Ted DeLong said, who also voted in Clearwater Monday morning.

He said he was pleasantly surprised.

“It was very nice, it only took us 20 minutes to get in,” DeLong said.

Both residents encouraged their peers to exercise their right to vote, too.

“This is the most important election in the history of this country,” DeLong said.

“This is very important so let’s get out and vote!” Devine said.

Early voting runs through Nov. 1. Election day is Nov. 3.

It’s not too late to request a vote-by-mail ballot. We’re told anyone can request the ballot up to Saturday, Oct. 24.

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