Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin White says he's heard several reports of people passing out from the heat while waiting in line to cast ballots at early voting sites.
White, who is serving on the county's elections canvassing board, put out a news release Tuesday calling on county Supervisor of Elections Buddy Johnson to do something about it.
He suggested that Johnson use a number-taking system to allow seniors and the disabled to wait inside the county's 13 early voting sites until it's their turn to vote. He also urged Johnson to have his staff distribute water to those waiting in the heat.
Johnson said the problem is particularly acute at tiny College Hill Library, an early voting site in central Tampa that is popular among black voters. He said his staff erected a 10-foot by 10-foot tent there Tuesday because there's little waiting area inside. He said he was aware of only one person passing out, someone a few days away from undergoing surgery.
He said that the challenge is that early voting sites can be set up only at City Hall buildings, elections offices and libraries, and there are few other places that fill the bill in central Tampa. Nevertheless, he said he welcomed White's suggestions.
"We'll be implementing those forthwith," Johnson said. "I applaud his visiting early voting sites. He's going to make a great member of the canvassing board."