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Friday, Mar 27, 2015

Voters get early start

Published:   |   Updated: August 17, 2014 at 12:24 PM

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For whatever reason, voter turnout for primary elections always is light.

Non-presidential primary years are even worse, said Shirley Anderson, Hernando County’s elections supervisor.

Anderson hopes to change that trend this year.

“Obviously I’d like 100 percent,” she said. “But my goal is 25 percent.”

The supervisor said she doubled the number of early voting sites from two to four in hopes of reaching her goal. She also added later hours on the weekend to make it easier for workers.

Early voting for the Aug. 26 primary began Saturday and continues until Aug. 23.

The early voting sites are: East Hernando Branch Library, 6457 Windmere Road, east of Brooksville; South Brooksville Community Center, 601 E. Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd. Brooksville; Spring Hill Branch Library, 9220 Spring Hill Drive; and the westside elections office at the Forest Oaks Government Center, 7443 Forest Oaks Blvd. in Spring Hill.

The sites will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Anderson said the downtown elections office no longer is an early voting site.

In the 2012 primary, 2,611 people, or 2.16 percent of the electorate, voted early. The total voter turnout for that primary was 20,196, or 16.9 percent of registered voters.

“It was a dismal turnout,” Anderson said.

In 2010, there were 3,554 early voters, representing 2.9 percent of the electorate. Total votes were 25,460.

Anderson said some people only vote in general elections, not realizing the primary results determine who will be on the November ballot.

For example, this year there are three school board seats involved in the primary. The primary also will determine whether Republican Jeff Holcomb or Laurie Pizzo, vying for the District 4 county commission, will move on to the general election

Meanwhile, mail-in balloting continues. As of Friday, 6,461 had been received by the supervisor of elections office.

For information on early voting, visit www.hernando

(352) 544-5290

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