Voters line up in Orange, Osceola counties to cast ballots in primaries

Early voting begins Saturday in all other Central Florida counties

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The polls opened in select locations Friday as early voting began in Orange and Osceola counties.

Across the state, 18 counties began early voting Monday and nearly 800,000 voters have already cast ballots in Florida's crucial primary election. According to the Florida Division of Elections website, more than 739,000 voters have mailed in their ballots and more than 38,000 people have voted at early voting polling places.

When the polls opened at the Supervisor of Elections Office in Orange County, voters began lining up to cast their votes.

Steve Davis said he was hoping to beat the long lines that typically come on election day.

"I just didn't want to put it off until later," Davis said.  "I know it will be very hectic and crowded, so I just wanted the convenience of early voting."

Supervisor of Elections Bill Cowles said he's expecting turnout to be relatively low, considering this is a primary during a non-presidential election year.

"In the last four primaries, our highest turnout has been 22 percent," Cowles said.  "From that standpoint, we probably figure that our numbers are going to be someplace in that 25 percent range."

Despite the expectation, Cowles encouraged every registered voter to cast their ballot. In Orange County there are several non-partisan races, which means a winner could be decided before the general election.

"These are people that are going to make daily decisions about the quality of life we have, and you should have a say in it," Cowles said.

In Orange and Osceola counties, early voting will be available until Aug. 26. Early voting begins for every other county in Central Florida on Saturday.

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