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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Ahead of storm, Gov. Scott warns: Vote now for Tuesday primary



With the prospect of a major storm bearing down on Florida as early as this weekend, state officials all have the same message: Go vote early.

"With the primary election on Tuesday, it is crucial that everyone goes out to vote early, regardless of weather," Gov. Rick Scott said in a statement urging Floridians to monitor the weather and prepare for a possible storm.

Scott himself has already voted. He filled in a mail ballot.

The National Hurricane Center believes there's a 60-percent chance of a system in the Caribbean turning into a cyclone in the next five days and that it could be headed toward Florida's Gulf Coast.

That would wreak havoc on next Tuesday's primary election, in which voters will decide the party nominees for congressional and state legislative seats, state attorneys and county offices, as well as nonpartisan offices and a constitutional amendment on solar power.

Early voting is available in all 67 Florida counties today and Saturday. Voters in 10 counties can cast early ballots on Sunday. They include Hillsborough, Pinellas, Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Orange, Duval, Bradford, Charlotte and Osceola.

On Thursday, Secretary of State Ken Detzner and Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer issued similar alerts to Scott's.

"While it is too premature to determine if voters will be impacted by adverse weather conditions, I encourage all Florida voters who have not voted by mail to get ahead of any possible weather disturbances by voting early," Detzner said.

[Last modified: Friday, August 26, 2016 2:46pm]


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