Manatee's absentee ballots go out Friday the 13th

skennedy@bradenton.comJuly 9, 2012 

MANATEE -- Friday the 13th may be an unlucky day, but that's when county officials plan to mail about 22,000 absentee ballots to Manatee voters.

County Elections Supervisor Bob Sweat said the number of ballots his office will be mailing out changes each day as people call in or write in.

"Now is the time to call us, or write us, if they need an absentee ballot," Sweat said Friday. "It's still time to get prepped and ready to go in the mail."

No proof is required of those asking for absentee ballots, he said.

"If you're registered in Manatee County, we would go on the computer and look up your record. We can tell right away," said Sweat.

Local residents are also approaching the last day they can register to vote.

"The books close on July 16," said Sweat, who is planning to retire after 28 years in office, following this year's elections.

He reminded voters that the primary election is slated for Aug. 14, with early voting set for Aug. 4-11. Early voting hours last from 7 a.m.-7 p.m., except on Sunday, Aug. 5, when polls will be open from 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Sweat said.

The latest count of active registered voters in Manatee County totalled 201,644, according to the Manatee Supervisor of Elections' website. Of that, registered Republicans numbered 87,493; registered Democrats numbered 65,750; No Party Affiliation, 36,638; and "Other," 11,763.

The general election this year is Nov. 6.

Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031, or at

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