Early voting for the Nov. 6 general election begins Saturday, Oct. 27, and continues through Saturday, Nov. 3, at three locations around Pinellas. Voting locations are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
According to Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark, state law changed last year and now early voting takes place from 10 days prior to an election and ends three days prior to Election Day.
Early voting locations are set up at the three county Elections offices.
- Election Service Center, 13001 Starkey Road., Largo, Starkey Lakes Corporate Center
- Pinellas County Courthouse, 315 Court St., Room 117, Clearwater, first floor, north side
- County Building, 501 First Ave. N., St. Petersburg in the Annex Conference Room, entrance on Fifth Street
Voters can check early voting wait times online at www.votepinellas.com. Wait times will be listed for each location with green meaning a wait time of 20 minutes or less, yellow, 20 to 40 minutes, and red for 40 minutes or more.
Elections officials said the process for voting in the Nov. 6 election begins with check in. Voters must provide both photo and signature identification, such as a driver’s license. Then they sign the precinct register and receive their ballot. During early voting, county residents can go to any of the three elections offices. On Election Day, Nov. 6, they must cast their ballot at the assigned polling place based on their home address.
The 2012 general election is unique because the ballot is four pages long and voters will have two ballot cards to fill out. Voters will need to run both cards through the ballot scanner one at a time in any order. The scanner will read the first ballot card, thank the voter and then alert them when it is ready for the second card.
"To avoid lines, voters can request a mail ballot and vote in the comfort of their homes. The ballot is four pages, on two ballot cards and includes 11 proposed constitutional amendments and a Pinellas School District referendum." Clark said. "On average it is taking voters 20 minutes just to read through the ballot questions."
Residents can request that a ballot be mailed to them through 5 p.m. Oct. 31. Requests can be made online at www.votepinellas.com, or call 464-VOTE (8683).
After Oct. 31, registered voters can pick up and return a mail ballot at any Elections Office through Election Day. Mail ballots cannot be returned to polling places, per state law. All mail ballots must be received at an Elections Office by 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6.
As of Oct. 25, 293,767 Pinellas County voters had requested a mail ballot, including 117,068 requests from registered Republicans, 111, 427 from Democrats and 65,272 from voters registered as other.
The Elections website offers a new feature that allows residents to view a transaction-based report of unofficial voter turnout from mail ballots and early voting. Turnout for Election Day won’t be available until the day after.
According to the report of unofficial results posted about 8 p.m. Oct. 26 at www.votepinellas.com/?id=2059, Republicans were well ahead of the other political parties in the number of returned mail ballots with receipt of 55,313 mail ballots recorded. Only 52,418 registered Democrats had returned ballots and 25,700 listed as other had completed the voting process.
As of Oct. 26, 627,163 people were registered to vote in Pinellas County, including 226,199 Republicans and 233,580 Democrats and 167,163 listed as other. The totals mark an increase over the number reported prior to the end of the voter registration period Oct. 9 of 4,320 overall, and 860 additional Republicans, 1,833 more Democrats and 1,406 more listed as other.