TAMPA — It's time to do your civic duty.
Today is election day in Florida, giving voters their last chance to help decide the winners of primary races in state and local elections. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Election supervisors in the Tampa Bay area expect a little more than 20 percent of registered voters to cast ballots.
"It pains me to say that," said Pasco County Elections Supervisor Brian Corley, pointing out that typically fewer than one in four registered voters participate in non-presidential year primaries. "I hope it's double that."
Tens of thousands of ballots already have been cast in the region in early voting, which ended over the weekend.
In Pasco County, 10,388 votes were cast early, a record for a primary. In Hillsborough, the last day of early voting drew a record number of voters for a single day, with 3,614 people casting ballots.
Those figures indicate a turnout today in line with past years.
"We are currently at approximately 12 percent turnout based on our early voting and mailed ballot returns," said Nancy Whitlock, Pinellas County elections communication director. "And in the 2008 elections, we had about half people vote before election day, and half on election day."
Those who voted early will probably be glad they did.
Election day coincides with the first day of school in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, so the day could get hectic.
And expect more wet weather. There is a 60 percent chance of rain today across Hillsborough, Hernando, Pinellas and Pasco counties, said Mike Clay, a meteorologist with Bay News 9.
You must vote in the precinct where you live. Your voter information card shows your precinct number. You can also find out your precinct and polling location by calling or checking the website of your county supervisor of elections office. Be sure to double-check the polling location because they often change.
You do not need your voter information card to vote, but you do need identification with a photo and signature. Acceptable forms of identification include a Florida driver's license, a debit or credit card, or military ID.
The general election is Nov. 2.
Times staff writers Andy Boyle and Shelley Rossetter contributed to this report. Janet Zink can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3401.