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Sarasota will be ready for Election Day despite Hurricane Ian turmoil, officials say

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Sarasota Supervisor of Elections
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Sarasota Supervisor of Elections Ron Turner, left, discusses election plans with Florida Department of State Secretary Cord Byrd.

Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Ron Turner said all nine early-voting sites will be open Oct. 24, though not all regular polling places will be open by the Nov. 8 general election.

Sarasota County elections officials say they will be ready for Election Day on Nov. 8, even though large portions of the southern part of the county were damaged by Hurricane Ian.

Three elections offices — in Sarasota, Venice and North Port — suffered water damage after Ian made landfall in Southwest Florida on Sept. 28.

That delayed the county sending out vote-by-mail ballots, which were scheduled to be mailed on Sept. 29.

Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Ron Turner said Wednesday that mail-in ballots went out a little late because of the storm, but should be in mailboxes by now.

"Some people may not be able to get their ballots," Turner said. "I know at my home my mailbox was blown down, so I'm one of those individuals so I understand that. The mail service says it will old mail for individuals for 10 days if they can't receive mail. they can certainly pick that up."

Turner said all nine early-voting sites will be open Oct. 24 for two weeks and most of the usual polling places in Sarasota County will be open on Election Day.

Turner also said he expects most — but not all — regular polling places will be open in Sarasota County on Election Day.

"In-person early voting is like voting on Election Day but you have two weeks of it, nine sites, 10 hours a day — 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. — so there's a lot more flexibility with that," Turner said. "It almost gives you the convenience of vote by mail, but it gives you the in-person voting experience."

Anyone who is not staying at their regular address should contact the Supervisor of Elections office for help with a mail-in ballot.

Voters will be notified if their polling place has to be changed.

I started my journalism career delivering the Toledo Blade newspaper on my bike.