The League of Women Voters of Florida is hoping to convince Florida Gov. Rick Scott to extend the state's early voting period to Sunday, Nov. 4, to accommodate the needs of voters. Early voting is currently scheduled to end at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3.
On Thursday, the league sent a letter to Scott that mentioned how some people have stood in line for hours waiting to vote.
In Hillsborough County, the Supervisor of Elections website says 112,955 people have participated in early voting as of Thursday afternoon, and 126,014 mail ballots have been submitted.
The Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections website also has a page that gives a real-time estimate of how long early voters will have to wait in line at the three early voting locations.
The letter that the League of Women Voters of Florida sent to Florida Governor Rick Scott is below:
Dear Governor Scott:
As you are aware, Floridians are continuing to turn out in record numbers to take advantage of the opportunity to vote early in this important general election. This phenomenon, resulting from an increase in the number of registered voters since 2008, reductions in the number of days available to early vote and the unprecedented length of this year's ballot, have resulted in long lines and extended wait times in many counties. The Miami Herald, for example, has reported voters standing in line up to six hours, and the Palm Beach Post notes that voters are waiting as much as two hours to cast ballots at the county's 14 early voting locations. Similar news is coming from across the state.
The League of Women Voters of Florida, which is dedicated to protecting the right of all citizens to vote, is extremely concerned that such long waits are discouraging to voters whose schedules and/or physical conditions cannot accommodate these types of delays.
In light of this problem, the League is asking you to extend early voting hours to include Sunday, November 4, for counties with high voter traffic. Our goal is to ensure that the voting process is timely, accessible and convenient for every eligible voter who wants to cast a ballot.
As you are aware, when faced with heavy early voting traffic in 2008, former Governor Charlie Crist protected the rights of Florida's voters by augmenting early voting hours. We urge you to exercise your leadership as governor and extend early voting hours to allow all eligible Florida citizens to exercise their constitutionally guaranteed right to participate in this election.
We encourage you to support freedom and help the voters of Florida by extending the early voting period.
Deirdre Macnab, President
Carrollwood's closest early voting locations are:
Jimmie B. Keel Regional Library
2902 West Bearss Avenue
Tampa, FL 33618
Polls Open: 7am - 7pm
West Tampa Branch Library
2312 W Union St
Tampa, FL 33607
Polls Open: 7am - 7pm
For a full list of voting locations go here.