According to the Bay County Supervisor of Elections, this primary election had the highest early voting turnout of all primary elections. But why do so many people decide to cast their vote early? The voters I spoke today say it comes down to convenience.
Panama City couple Ken and Donna Shaffer made their way to the Bay County Supervisor of Elections office today. "I'm one of those who, I'm not even sure what election it was, but stood in line for hours to vote one time," says Ken Shaffer. Therefore, in order to avoid the potential crowds, him and his wife decided to cast their vote today. His wife Donna says avoiding lines is especially important because she has a handicap.
For others like Judy King...while she had voting on her mind, she decided to stop into the elections office. "I always forgets so I want to make sure I vote," explains King, "and some days you don't get a chance to do so, so I wanted to vote and I did." But for Anna Holmes, she came out because she knows she won't get a chance on Tuesday. "I'm a college student so I can't vote on the regular Election day," says Holmes, "I won't be in town then so I decided to vote early."
Now 1,700 individuals came out to cast their vote early just today. It's the highest turnout of all 8 days that voters had the opportunity.
Now for those who have yet to cast their vote polls will open Tuesday, August 14th. Bay County Supervisor of Elections Mark Andersen says it's important voters understand though that on Election Day, they must vote at the precinct that's attached to their designed district. Andersen says that precinct could have changed. "So you need to get educated before you head to the polls on Tuesday."
Heading into Election day, a little over 14,000 votes have already been cast...including the 4,440 absentee ballots dropped off thus far and the 9,576 ballots cast during early voting.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday. News 13 will have complete team coverage of the results.