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Politics / Issues

New Early Voting Sites Expected In Pinellas County

Early Voting Here sign
WUSF
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Pinellas County plans to add two new early voting sites in time for the August primary elections.

The two additional early voting sites are planned for the Countryside and Tyrone/Lealman areas.

After witnessing a large increase in early voting during the 2020 presidential election, Supervisor of Elections Julie Marcus said that Pinellas County is preparing two new voting sites.

“With 82% of voters voting prior to Election Day, we need to be responsive with both mail ballots, which is why we're continuing to pay for return postage, which is why we’re continuing to have 25 ballot drop off locations, and now add two additional early voting sites,” she said.

Marcus told a county commission meeting held on Friday that over half of Pinellas County voters have a mail ballot request on record.

“We have also followed in-person early voting trends and what we saw in 2020 was a significant increase in the number of (people) early voting,” she said.

Marcus added that while some voted early because of the COVID-19 pandemic, she's not sure what that will mean for upcoming elections.

“I think that is too early to call as to whether or not 2020 was an anomaly. But we still have to look at the data, we still have to look at the trends.”

In addition, while Hillsborough County had 26 early voting sites in the 2020 general election and Pasco County had 14, Pinellas County had only five.

The new sites are planned for the Countryside and Tyrone-Lealman areas.

Marcus also talked to commissioners about Clear Ballot, a new voter counting system that will be used starting in August during the St. Petersburg primary election.

“Clear Ballot is separate from the tabulation system. Every ballot that is tabulated, the Clear Ballot system will then separately inventory those ballots and tally those ballots and votes, the Clear Ballot vote total are then compared to the tabulation system total.” said Marcus.

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