Florida's early voting period ends with long lines - FOX 13 News

Florida's early voting period ends with long lines

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A young man plays a video game while waiting in line with his parents during the final day of early voting in Florida. A young man plays a video game while waiting in line with his parents during the final day of early voting in Florida.
TAMPA (FOX 13) -

They stood in lines that wrapped around buildings.

Some waited for hours, others not as long, all because they want their voice heard.

"I feel like I'm doing something real to change my country," explained registered voter Cesar Donis.

Thousands of people endured standing in line on a beautiful Saturday in Florida because they appear to have a "thing" against voting on a Tuesday.

"I'm trying to beat the crowd," said Toby Gamble. "This [early voting] makes it convenient for me."

All kidding aside, early voting is all the rage in Florida and it looks like the numbers in Hillsborough County confirm the craze.

"This year what we've seen is so far we're up to 160,000 registered voters who chose to vote early," said Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Spokesman Travis Abercrombie. "Back in 2008 we had a little over 145,000. We've met and exceeded the expectation as well as the turnout in 2008."

Donis, 20, is a first-time voter who avoided the pomp and circumstance of voting on the Tuesday – following the first Monday of November - because of enthusiasm.

"I'm very anxious to vote so I did it early," he said.

Others say they decided to vote early because of other commitments.

"Tuesday I work and I know the polls are probably going to be packed," said Hillsborough County resident Amanda Kendrick. "So I figured it would be easier just to get it done on Saturday."

So what does all this early voting mean in the general scheme of things? 

Do these early voting numbers mean higher turn-out  on Election Day?

Election officials say it's hard to tell but if 2008 is indication, Tuesday could be a big day at the polls.

Abercrombie: "In 2008 people who voted by mail and voted early comprised 51 percent of the turnout so if that holds true we're certainly going to be ready and prepared for a strong turnout on Election Day."

The polls open at 7 a.m. on Tuesday and will remain open until 7 p.m.

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