News Column

Be Ready Before Casting Vote

Nov. 6, 2012

It's the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, and you might have heard something about an election today.

Election observers are urging those going to the polls to do a little homework before heading out the door. Polling sites may have changed since prior elections, and with a huge ballot -- it's six pages in Hillsborough County -- voters might not want to go in cold.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and if you're in line by 7 p.m., you will be allowed to cast your ballot.

Here's some advice from the League of Women Voters and local elections supervisors:

* Verify your polling place. You must vote at your proper precinct today, unless you're turning in a mail-in ballot by hand. Mail-in or absentee ballots must be turned in to an elections office -- not your precinct. Through redistricting that came after the 2010 census, some polling sites have changed. You can find out where you vote at your county elections supervisor's website at www.votehillsborough.org, www.pascovotes.com or www.votepinellas.com. Your polling place is also on your voter information card.

* You will need a photo ID with a signature. Valid IDs include a driver's license, passport, debit or credit card, student ID, or public assistance ID.

* Familiarize yourself with the ballot. Sample ballots are available on the supervisors' websites, and you are allowed to take sample ballots or notes into the voting booth.

* Check the weather. Forecasters were expecting a 50 percent chance of rain today, and keep in mind you might have to wait in line outdoors.



Source: (c)2012 the Tampa Tribune (Tampa, Fla.) Distributed by MCT Information Services


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