Your vote counts, so let us count the ways to cast yours

Let the voting begin.

In fact, for registered voters who have requested absentee ballots, it's already begun.

And starting Saturday, the two Hernando elections offices will be open for eight days of early voting.

All leading up to Election Day, on Nov. 6, when polling places across the county will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The stakes are great. We'll be choosing a president and a U.S. senator, as well as officials to fill state and local offices.

And don't forget a couple of county referendums and 11 state constitutional amendments.

Got all of that?

Here's information that should make the process a little easier, courtesy of the Hernando County Supervisor of Elections Office.

Absentee voting

Registered voters may request absentee ballots:

• Online at hernandovotes.com.

• By phone at (352) 754-4125.

The deadline to request that an absentee ballot be mailed to you is 5 p.m. Oct. 31.

Elections officials have been encouraging absentee voting because of the long ballot this year. Voting absentee allows you to spend more time studying the ballot choices.

Completed absentee ballots must be received in one of the Supervisor of Elections offices no later than 7 p.m. on Election Night, Nov. 6.

If you mail the ballot back, extra postage is required — a total of 65 cents.

Early voting

Early voting begins Saturday and run eight days, through Nov. 3. Hours will be from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Early voting will take place at the two election offices:

• Hernando County Government Center, 20 N Main St., Room 165, Brooksville.

• Westside Government Center, 7443 Forest Oaks Blvd., Spring Hill.

Anyone voting should bring photo and signature identification.

Election Day voting

All county polling places will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Registered voters must vote at their assigned polling place.

If you do not know where to vote, go to hernandovotes.com online and click on "Where do I vote" or call (352) 754-4125. The location is also on your voter registration card.

All voters must present photo and signature identification.

Other information

• To make sure your address is up to date with the elections office, you may call (352) 754-4125. You may update information over the phone or online at hernandovotes.com. Under "Voting information" on the left side of the Web page, click on "Change your address." Information may also be updated at the polling place on Election Day, but that may result in a delay.

• If you have moved to Hernando County from another county in Florida and wait until Election Day to update your address at the polling place, you will have to vote a provision ballot. Elections officials recommend updating your information before going to the polling place.

• Acceptable forms of photo and signature identification include: Florida driver's license, Florida ID card issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles, U.S. passport, debit or credit card, military ID, student ID, retirement center ID, neighborhood association ID or public assistance ID. If the photo ID does not contain a signature, you will have to provide a second form of ID with signature. If you are unable to provide photo and signature ID, you will have to cast a provisional ballot.

• Because of the long ballot this year, elections officials recommend that you print and mark a sample ballot and bring it with you to the polling place on Election Day. Sample ballots can be found online at hernandovotes.com. Click on "Sample ballots" on the horizontal menu near the top of the Web page.

Your vote counts, so let us count the ways to cast yours 10/20/12 [Last modified: Saturday, October 20, 2012 1:08pm]

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