Early voting for the Nov. 6 general continues through Saturday, Nov. 3, at three locations around Pinellas. Voting locations are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
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.
According to the real-time information on the Elections Office website, 4,521 ballots were cast on the first day of early voting, Saturday, Oct. 27 and, by the end of the weekend, 7,538 people had taken advantage of the service.
Elections officials say the process for early voting is the same as it will be on Election Day, Nov. 6. Voters must provide both photo and signature identification, such as a driver’s license. Then they sign the precinct register and receive their ballot. The only difference is that 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,” said Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark. "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. 28, 298,764 Pinellas County voters had requested a mail ballot, and 144,343, or 48.3 percent had been returned. Added to the 7,538 ballots cast at early voting locations on Saturday and Sunday, brings the total of ballots cast so far to 151,881.
At the end of the voter registration period on Oct. 9, 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 of 4,320 overall, and 860 additional Republicans, 1,833 more Democrats and 1,406 more listed 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 Oct. 28 at www.votepinellas.com/?id=2059, the Republicans were outvoting the other parties by 1,551 with 62,007 ballots cast by mail or early voting compared to 60.456 by Democrats and 29,418 by others.
Tuesday, Nov. 6, is the last day to take part in the general election that will decide the next president of the United States, and other federal, state and local leaders. Eleven state referendum questions are on the ballots, as well as a local school board question and municipal referendums. Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.