We are now less than two months away from the August 2012 Primary Election and voters need to know of some changes before they cast their ballots.
The phones have been ringing off the hook at the Bay County Supervisor of Elections Office as there will be many first for Bay County voters this election season. The biggest are precinct changes, as the Supervisor of Elections office decided to close down 10 polling sites.
"62% already vote by absentee and early voting before Election Day, so why have so many polling places when the volume is more up front now then on Election Day," said Bay County's Supervisor of Elections, Mark Andersen.
It will also save the office money, nearly $11,000 dollars this election year and in the future, up to $75,000 dollars in savings of equipment purchases.
"The general election is going to be a two-page, two-sided ballot. So there are lots of reasons why we are already gearing up and getting ready for this primary, because there are going to be a lot of firsts in Bay County," Andersen added.
Voters can find their new precinct and polling place at the Supervisor of Elections Office website at www.bayvotes.org. But even if finding your exact polling site may be a little more complicated this election year, thanks to new Florida legislation, casting your vote early may be easier.
"They decided to open the doors a little bit more where they shrank the number of days but they increased the number of hours," Andersen said.
So instead of having 15 early voting days open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., voters will only have 8 days to case their ballots early, but 12 hours each day to do so, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
"I really will tell voters there really is no excuse now not tot take that opportunity to get in there and cast their ballots of who they want as their leadership," Andersen added.
The deadline to register for the 2012 primary is July 16th. Early voting will open on August 4th through August 11th from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.