First day of early voting in Osceola County shows significant turnout

If voters decide to mail in their ballots but have not requested one, they have until Oct. 24 at 5 p.m. to request a ballot

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – On the first day of early voting in Central Florida, Alexandra Solano, a native of the Dominican Republic said she wanted to set an example for her fellow Latinos.

“It needs to be out there. We need to do this,” Solano said.

Her concerns are racism and the way the pandemic has been handled.

According to the supervisor of elections of Osceola County, the first day of early voting saw a significant turnout in the first two hours with 1,300 voters processed through eight polling locations set up across the county. Mary Jane Arrington, Supervisor of Elections for Osceola County said about 50 percent of eligible voters are Hispanic or Latino.

“They like early voting, so we expect to see a lot of 'em at early voting. Convenience voting is very popular in Osceola county,” Arrington said.

Ricardo Negrón of Latino Justice is part of a coalition of nonprofit organizations reaching out to the Hispanic and Latino community through the campaign Pa' Luego es Tarde, VOTA! which translates to the Sooner the better, VOTE! they’re reeducating Latino voters.

“What we’re trying to do is let people know, these are the deadlines, these are the dates that you can actually go ahead and vote,” Negrón said. “Take advantage of it. This is what you need. Make your plan to vote. We’re actually pushing for folks to take advantage of the early voting period and also of the vote by mail.”

If voters decide to mail in their ballots but have not requested one, they have until Oct. 24 at 5 p.m. to request a ballot.

“You should send it back at least a week before Nov. 3 so that you make sure that it’s there or if they’re any issues that you make sure you can curate that ballot and your vote be counted,” Negrón said.

Osceola County’s Supervisor of Elections encouraged voters not to wait to cast their ballots until Nov. 3.

“If you have a problem, we’ve got time to work it out. On Election Day you have to go to your home polling location. The joy of early voting is you can go to any of our sites no matter where you live or where you work,” Arrington said.

Across Osceola County, there will be eight polling locations will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the evening until Nov. 1.

To find a polling location in Osceola County, click this link.

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