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Early voting in Bradford County

The primary election is two days away, and early voting is now officially closed for voters in all of north-central Florida. Bradford county offered an extra day of early voting on Sunday, and voters in the county took advantage of the opportunity to cast their ballot.
Published: Aug. 16, 2020 at 8:08 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -Frederick Flaherty is a Bradford County resident who took advantage of early voting on Sunday.

“I work out of town through the week and just come on the weekends, so early voting allowed me to be able to cast a vote for the people that I support.”

“It worked out for me because I just flew in from Las Vegas yesterday.”

This was his only opportunity to vote in-person, and for him, it was a smooth process.

“The process was very quick. I was in and out in less than 5 minutes. They had it very simple.”

The Bradford County Supervisor of Elections Terry Vaughan said offering a Sunday early voting option has been very popular with voters.

“We’ve always had Sundays for early voting in Bradford County. Being a small county, we only have one early voting site. So we felt that it’s necessary to emphasize accessibility and availability, so have that extra day. Our voters quite frankly have embraced it. It’s become a tradition. We’ve always had a great turnout on our Sunday early voting.”

This year they are seeing voters taking advantage of the opportunity to vote-by-mail as well. According to the Vaughan, more than 2,000 vote-by-mail ballots have been returned, and they had more than 3,000 requests.

“A lot of interest for a primary. We’re anticipating a very healthy turnout as primaries go. Our vote-by-mail requests have almost doubled from what they were four years ago the last time we had a presidential election year. There has been a lot of interest from our voters,” said Vaughan.

They are seeing record-breaking numbers this year.

“As of today [Sunday] when you factor in early voting and vote-by-mail ballot returns, we’re well above 20 percent turnout and still have election day obviously. We’re expecting a turnout here in Bradford County in the 40 percent range 40 to 45 percent. Which for a primary, we don’t have a lot of races on this ballot. I liked to see it higher, but historically that’s a pretty good turnout.”

Some of the big races on the ballot in the county include the Sheriff’s race and the Congressional District 3 race.

For those looking to vote on election day, the supervisor of elections is taking precautions.

“Well, they strongly encourage masks wearing, everyone inside wore masks,” said Flaherty.

Looking forward, the supervisor believes they will have a strong turnout this November.

“In the general election in November, we’re expecting record numbers by far. We’ll have more voters participate in November than in any other election in the history of this county.”

Flaherty has this message for his fellow voters, “get out and vote.”

To find out more about the upcoming election, click on the link below.

Copyright 2020 WCJB. All rights reserved.

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