UCF students grateful to have early voting location on campus

Voting begins in Orange, Seminole, Lake, Flagler counties, on college campuses

By Nadeen Yanes - Reporter

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Colorful campaign signs line up the sidewalk leading up to the Live Oak Events Center at the heart of University of Central Florida's campus Monday as it marked the first day of early voting in Orange County. It's also the first time in four years since students can cast their votes early on campus. 

"It's great because it's convenient," said UCF senior Patrick Bonbrisco. "I live right up the street so it's nice to be able to come up here and cast your vote."

Back in 2014, Florida's Secretary of State Ken Detzner put a ban on early voting locations on campus. However, after college campuses in the state filed suit, U.S. District Judge Mark Walker called the ban unconstitutional in July. He said it appeared to be done to stop younger voters from casting ballots.

"It's important because I have a child that is also a college kid and him being to vote on campus would be paramount," said mom Shauna Stokes. She works near UCF and also took advantage of the early voting location on campus. 

"I live out by Lake Nona so it was closer for me," Stokes added. 

Both Stokes and Bonbrisco credit their sample ballots in preparing them to early vote, especially when it came to lengthy amendments on the ballot this election season. 

"I know one of them was like off-shore drilling and they put it in with e-cigarette or something, it was the weirdest thing and you really have to do your research," Bonbrisco added. 

On-campus Monday, political candidates took advantage of the student votes. 

Democrat Stephanie Murphy, running for Congress in District 7, walked along side Florida House District 49 and 47 Democratic candidates Carlos Guillermo Smith and Anna Eskmani gathering votes. 

"Every vote counts and it's really important for young people to be participating in their democracy," Murphy said. 

Also on campus an "Elect Rick Scott" truck circled about. 

Students are saying they're grateful to be able to cast their ballot right on campus. 

"Everyone has the right to vote. You can have any type of belief you want and it's just the ability and right to vote which is most important," Bonbrisco said. 

Early voting will continue until Nov. 4. 

For more information on when early voting begins in your county and what you need to bring, click here

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