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Politics / Issues

Absentee Voting in Person Expands Options

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Early voting in Florida ended officially on Saturday, but several elections supervisors in the Tampa Bay area offered voters another option called “absentee voting in person.”

A flood of Hillsborough county voters used that option on Sunday and Monday.

The Supervisor of Elections Office on Faulkenberg Road is one of four elections offices in Hillsborough where people can request an absentee ballot, vote on the spot and immediately turn in their ballot.

Marilyn Jenkins relies on a cane to get around that’s why she didn’t use early voting.

“The lines were so long that I couldn’t stand that long,” Jenkins said. “I didn’t know whether they had accommodations for a person that couldn’t stand that long.”

She was equally worried about the long lines expected on Election Day.

“I was wondering, man I’m not going to get a chance to vote this year,” Jenkins said. “But I was listening at the news and when they said they had the extended time down here and I just live across Faulkenberg.”

On Monday, there was little waiting for absentee voting in person. Election workers had set up two areas to accommodate voters.

Parking was difficult because of the number of voters either using “in person” voting or dropping off previously requested ballots.

It got so busy that election workers brought a ballot box outside to the curb - so drivers didn’t have to get out of their cars to drop off their absentee ballots.