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The State We're In connects with people in Central Florida and the greater Tampa Bay region about issues that matter to you. From the coronavirus to special coverage of politics along the I-4 corridor, it’s a chance to hear your neighbors, and better understand their experience.The State We’re In is a collaboration of WUSF Public Media in Tampa and 90.7 WMFE in Orlando and is part of America Amplified, a national community engagement and reporting initiative supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.[Join Us On Facebook]

What's On Tampa Voters' Minds Heading To The Polls? Here's A Sampling

Sandra Burgess wearing a mask, standing in front of the library
Jessica Meszaros/WUSF Public Media
Sandra Burgess said this is "probably one of the most important elections of our lifetime."

Voters have different thoughts as they cast their ballots on Election Day.

A sampling of voters at Town ‘N Country Regional Library in Tampa on Tuesday gave a good indication of where people stand as they cast their ballots in the 2020 election.

Some enthusiasm – or none at all – and hopes for a sense of normalcy in what has been a contentious campaign between President Donald Trump and former vice president Joe Biden.

Sandra Burgess says voting in this election is critical.

"It's probably one of the most important elections of our lifetime, of this country's lifetime and that's why I'm here today," Burgess said.

But voter David Burleson does not share that same enthusiasm. He says he did not want to have to make this choice.

"At this point, I'm a little disillusioned with politics in general -- what you hear and what you know, and what you're told are not necessarily what comes to pass,” Burleson said.

Whatever happens as a result, Burleson says he just wants life to go back to normal, before the coronavirus.

John Loblack wearing a mask, standing in front of the library
Jessica Meszaros/WUSF Public Media
John Loblack said the most important factor for him this election cycle is COVID-19, racial equality and getting America back to where it once was.

For John Loblack, the most important factor for him this election cycle is COVID-19, racial equality and getting America back to where it once was.

"Where people see you for person, and not by the color of your skin, not by your national origin, not by your accent as I have, but as a person,” he said. “And the more we get back to seeing each other as equals as human beings, I think the easier it will be for us to find the answers that we need to move forward as a country."

Near a precinct at Pinellas Park City Hall, David Emerick was supporting a person running for Congress.

He says he supports candidates who focus on issues like keeping communities safe and providing opportunities to people who come from other countries.

“Florida has a lot of individuals who have come from Cuba and various different backgrounds, he said. “They are coming here to try and have the freedom you know to have the American dream. And I don't take it for granted.”

Polls across Florida are open today until 7 tonight. People who show up and are in line by that deadline will be allowed to vote.

The pandemic did create an unexpected detour for some voters. Hillsborough was among many counties needing to made precinct changes for safety reasons. Some voters who did not check on the location before arriving at the Town 'N Country location had to make a second trip to their new polling place.

While Lowblack was able to drop off his mail-in ballot on site, not all Florida voters can do that. Be sure to check your local supervisor of elections website ahead of time, so you know exactly where it can be counted.

WUSF reporter Daylina Miller contributed to this report.

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