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Early voting begins

Early voting begins

Early voting begins

Assistant Supervisor of Elections Vicki Farris straightens a stack of papers on an information table outfitted with hand sanitizer for the public at headquarters in Marianna. 

The first day of early voting was going smoothly as of noon Monday, says Jackson County Supervisor of Elections Sylvia Stephens.

“Probably this week is not going to be as busy as next week, so if anyone is thinking about going ahead and voting early, they probably need to go ahead so there won’t be a long line,” she said.

On Monday, there were a few instances where people had to wait briefly away from the voting machine area because of distancing precautions in light of COVID-19.

“Because we only allow four or five in the space at a time, some did have to wait a little while but we’re trying to keep that as minimal as possible. As one goes out, we let one in,” Stephens said.

She noted that there are also two other early voting places: Sneads and Graceville city halls. You don’t have to live in those towns to early-vote there, she added.

Early voting will continue each day through next Saturday, Aug. 15, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. each day, except Sunday, Aug. 9, when hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

People that choose to vote by mail must request their ballots by this Saturday, Aug. 8. Those requests can be made online, by phone, in person or by mail. The office can be reached at 850-482-9652. By-mail voters must ensure that their ballots are back to the elections office by 7 p.m. on the primary date of Aug. 18. There are drop boxes at election headquarters and at Sneads and Graceville city halls.

Voting in person on Election Day at your polling place continues to be an option. Although it is not required by law, Stephens asks that, at any voting location, people consider wearing masks. Those will be available on site if someone wants one.

“Masks are not required, but for their safety and convenience of poll workers — since they’re putting themselves out there with the courage and patriotism to work — we would appreciate it,” Stephens said, adding that they’re wearing protective gear for the sake of others’ safety. There are also shield guards in place at appropriate points.

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