1 week into early voting, Orange County sees fewer voters at Amway Center location

Local officials encourage residents to vote early

ORLANDO, Fla. – Early voting at a new early voting location in Orange County has seen a bit of decline in recent days, but election officials say it could be voter choice or because it’s a new polling location and more people are voting by mail.

The Amway Center saw an increase the first day of early voting, then the numbers dropped shortly after.

From hundreds of returning citizens marching through Parramore Saturday to the many Souls to the Polls events over the weekend by the Amway Center to encourage minorities to vote, Orlando City Commissioner Regina Hill said it’s been those personal stories that are keeping her smiling.

[VOTER GUIDE: Everything you need to know ahead of the presidential election | What to know about Florida’s Amendment 1: Citizenship requirement to vote in state elections | What to know about Florida’s Amendment 2: State’s $15 minimum wage initiative]

“I met a young lady on Sunday who said she’d never thought she’d be able to vote, and this was her first time voting in over 40 years because 35 of those years she spent it in prison,” Hill said.

Hill said it’s all been worth it, and it’s why she’s put out signs around Parramore to encourage early voting, even though numbers here from the Orange County supervisor of elections website show early voting at the Amway center was actually down this past weekend compared to numbers earlier in the week.

But Hill says numbers don’t always tell the true story.

“With these phone banks, we are finding out that people have already voted and that’s what we want. The numbers matter on Nov. 3, what the total numbers are,” Hill said.

[BALLOT TRACKER: Voting by mail? Here’s how to track your ballot]

News 6 asked Orange County Supervisor of Elections Bill Cowles about the Amway early voting stats. He said early voting numbers are actually up countywide compared to early voting so far in 2016. But he also said that’s for a number of reasons.

“You’ve got all of these factors going on, new sites, more people voting by mail," Cowles said.

Cowles also said the Amway Center is a new early voting location and that it’s common to see larger early voting numbers toward the end of early voting.

Hill said she’s going door to door in Parramore over the next few days to encourage more people to vote early.

About the Author: