Absentee voting for the 2012 primary election has already begun, and the casting of ballots will not finish until Aug. 14, Election Day.
Some races will be decided that day; others will continue into November.
Here's some helpful information for registered voters in Hernando County. (If you are not registered, it's too late for the primary, but not for the Nov. 6 general election.) If you have questions, visit hernandovotes.com or call the Supervisor of Elections Office at (352) 754-4125.
Who votes for what?
You will receive a Democratic or Republican ballot if you are registered with one of those parties. If you are registered with a minor party or with no party, you will receive a nonpartisan ballot.
Everyone gets to vote in the nonpartisan Hernando School Board races. There are also two universal primary contests — for property appraiser and public defender — that will appear on all ballots. In a universal primary, the candidates running are from the same party and will have no opposition from another party in the general election; therefore the race will be determined in the primary, and everyone gets to vote.
Absentee requests are currently being accepted. Any voter may request an absentee ballot. You do not need a special reason. A voter may request an absentee ballot in one of the following ways:
1. By phone: (352) 754-4125.
2. By fax: (352) 754-4425 (When requesting by fax, the following information is needed: the voter's name, signature, date of birth, address, phone number, home address, address where the voter wants the ballot mailed and the election the voter is requesting the ballot for.)
3. By email: firstname.lastname@example.org (When requesting by email, the following information is needed: the voter's name, date of birth, address, phone number, home address, address where the voter wants the ballot mailed and the election the voter is requesting the ballot for.)
4. On the web: hernandovotes.com.
5. In person at one of the elections offices: main office, 20 N Main St., Room 165, Brooksville; branch office, 7443 Forest Oaks Blvd., Spring Hill.
The deadline to request that an absentee ballot be mailed to you for the primary election is 5 p.m. Aug. 8.
Early voting for the primary begins Saturday and runs through Aug. 11. Hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day, except for Sunday, Aug. 5, when the hours will be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Early voting is available only at the main and branch elections offices — not at polling places.
Main office: 20 N Main St., Room 165, Brooksville.
Branch office: 7443 Forest Oaks Blvd, Spring Hill.
Registered voters must bring photo and signature identification to vote early.
Voting on Election Day
Polling places for the primary election will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 14. Voters should bring photo and signature identification, such as a driver's license. You must vote in the precinct in which you live. Some voters will be voting at new polling places this year. Your polling place is listed on your new voter information card. If you are not sure where you are supposed to vote, call the Supervisor of Elections Office at (352) 754-4125.
Sample ballots for the primary election can be found online at hernandovotes.com. Click on "Sample Ballots" at the top of the home page.