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Pasco supervisor of elections predicts record voter turnout

Pasco County Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley predicts a record turnout of 85 percent of voters when polls close today.

Luckily, all those 250,000 people won't be showing up at once, since many of them voted early or by absentee ballots. But it still would mean 150,000 people voting today.

His advice: Be prepared to wait in line during peak morning and evening hours.

It also means more than 1,200 poll workers have to be ready to handle the biggest test yet of new optical scan voting machines.

"We're in a good place. We're ready," said Corley, a Republican who will be watching the election for another reason: Democrat Pat Carroll is running to replace him.

Already 35 percent have voted, including a whopping 69,000 people who cast ballots at early voting locations. That was more than double the early vote in 2004, when overall turnout was 72 percent.

Political party leaders also expect record turnout. They plan to respond to any glitches by having attorneys and poll watchers on duty.

"I think the turnout will be the heaviest that Pasco's ever seen," Pasco Republican Party chairman Bill Bunting said.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The elections office has to receive any remaining absentee ballots by 7 p.m. today for the votes to be counted.

Besides the presidential election, Pasco voters will elect lawmakers for the U.S. House and the Legislature. Countywide races include sheriff, superintendent of schools, election supervisor, clerk of court and County Commission. There are also judicial races and several constitutional amendments.

David DeCamp can be reached at ddecamp@sptimes.com or toll-free at 1-800-333-7505, ext. 6232.

>>Fast facts

On the ballot

Amid the local and national races, Zephyrhills residents will also pick a new City Council member today. Voters will choose who replaces former council member Daniel Burgess Jr., who left his seat in July to attend law school in Orlando. Manny Funes, Mark LaMonte and Lance Smith all want the job.

Pasco supervisor of elections predicts record voter turnout 11/03/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 4, 2008 1:08pm]

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