The changes "made some things a lot easier for us in the elections office. And hopefully they'll make things more accessible to voters.''
Annie Williams, supervisor of elections
BROOKSVILLE — The 2010 election is in full swing with thousands of absentee ballots already arriving in Hernando mailboxes, poll workers in training classes and candidates for federal state and local offices shifting into full campaign mode.
Hernando County's 122,293 registered voters will see a few differences as they prepare to exercise their rights to vote. Supervisor of Elections Annie Williams sent out notices this week to inform the community of those changes.
Among those affected the most will be voters in Sterling Hill, now Precinct 57, who will be voting for the first time at Sterling Hill Clubhouse South. Sterling Hill residents will also be voting for the first time for representatives to serve on their Community Development District board.
Other polling place changes will affect voters in precincts 11, 24, 29, 48 and 56.
Voters in Precinct 11 will move to the new South Brooksville Community Center while those in Precinct 24 will cast ballots in the new building at Christian Church in the Wildwood.
Dayspring Presbyterian Church is the new site for voters in Precinct 29 while voters in Precincts 48 and 56 will now cast ballots at the YMCA of the Suncoast.
The changes, Williams said, "made some things a lot easier for us in the elections office. And hopefully they'll make things more accessible to voters.''
Some of those changes will help Williams trim her expenses this year because combining precincts means fewer poll workers and using sites that don't require payment helps with both voting day and poll worker training expenses.
Williams was under fire last year from county commissioners who urged her to trim her budget and suggested that she seek volunteer poll workers. She will be using about 500 poll workers this year, a reduction from about 600 last year.
Another savings is from a new system called "Ballot on Demand,'' which prints a ballot as it is needed so the elections office hasn't had to buy and stockpile ballots it may or may not need for the elections.
"We only pay for what we use,'' she said. "I like that.''
The elections office is still accepting requests for absentee ballots. Voters do not need a special reason for an absentee ballot and requests can be made by phone at (352) 754-4125 or by fax at (352) 754-4425.
When requesting by fax, certain information must be provided: The voter's name, signature, date of birth, address, phone number, home address, the address where the voter wants the ballot mailed to as well as the election the voter is requesting.
Barbara Behrendt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 848-1434.