Looking ahead to the Nov. 6 general election, the Hernando County Supervisor of Elections Office knows that many of county's 122,000 registered voters might fear having to deal with long lines at polling places.
The reason for the lines? Just take a look at the double-sided ballot that will be used.
In addition to presidential, U.S. Senate and House races, state races and 11 constitutional questions, Hernando voters will be asked to choose candidates in six local races and answer two referendum questions. If you're a Brooksville resident, you get to vote in a City Council race, and answer two more referendum questions.
The bottom line: Voters who go to the polls can expect to be there awhile, said Elizabeth Townsend, the elections office's director of operations.
"We're suggesting the absentee ballot to anyone who may want to avoid any long lines," Townsend said. "That way, they can vote from the comfort of their home or wherever they choose."
Townsend couldn't say whether the November ballot is the longest ever put before Hernando voters. But since going to scanned ballots in 1998, the office has never printed a 14-inch double-side ballot.
Also, Townsend said longtime registered voters might want to contact the elections office to ensure that their information is still current.
She suggested that voters who haven't voted in a while call the supervisor's office to verify that their information is current.
Voters may return absentee ballots to the elections office anytime. However, ballots must be returned no later than 7 p.m. Nov. 6.
To request an absentee ballot online, visit hernandovotes.com. To request a ballot by phone, call (352) 754-4125.
PHCC North Campus to host political forum
The Pasco-Hernando Community College North Campus Student Government Association will host a political forum at 5 p.m. Monday in Room B-104 at the North Campus, 11415 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Brooksville.
Stanley Giannet, provost for the North Campus, said the SGA had its first candidate forum in 2008. Giannet suggested that the association resurrect the idea ahead of this year's general election, and the students ran with it.
"Here's an opportunity for students not only to learn and become engaged in the democratic process, but also to provide a service to the community," Giannet said.
Students will come up with the questions for the forum and will moderate it. By Friday, 16 candidates had committed to attend.
Community groups plan candidates forum
The African-American Club of Hernando, the Hernando County Branch NAACP and the Kiwanis Club of the Nature Coast have joined forces to present a candidates forum at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Palace Grand, 275 Della Court, Spring Hill.
All candidates on the Nov. 6 general election ballot have been invited to participate in the nonpartisan event. For information, call Beverly at (352) 683-0323.
Business women to host candidates forum
The Business and Professional Women of Hernando County will host "Meet the Candidates Night" from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Sept. 25 at Southern Hills Plantation Club, 4528 Southern Valley Loop, Brooksville.
The forum, sponsored by GreenPoint Homes, will include drinks and refreshments. The event is open to the public.
Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP by Friday. A $10 donation is requested to benefit the Hernando County BPW Education Scholarship Fund. For information or to RSVP, call Karen at (352) 585-3733 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sock hop fundraiser for Eddie McConnell
A 1950s and '60s sock hop campaign fundraiser for sheriff candidate James E. "Eddie" McConnell will be from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday at the Quality Inn, 6172 Commercial Way, Weeki Wachee.
There will be a dance contest and prizes. Entertainment will be provided by Jennifer and Donald, the Duo DJ Entertainers. Period dress is optional.
Tickets are $20 per person, which includes a hot dog, bag of chips and a drink.
McConnell is the Democratic candidate for Hernando County sheriff. For ticket information, call (352) 238-3194 or (727) 457-8763.
'Skater Girl' plans a meet and greet at rink
A meet-and-greet with County Commission candidate Tanya Marsh will be from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday at the Locomo roller skating rink, 10451 County Line Road, Spring Hill.
Marsh, know to many as "Skater Girl" because she wears roller skates as she waves signs for businesses along Hernando's highways, is a write-in candidate for the Hernando County Commission District 3 seat.
Staff writers Barbara Behrendt, Phyllis Day, Tony Marrero and Logan Neill contributed to this report.