With less than five hours left to go on Election Day, more than 42,000 people in Manatee have cast ballots on Tuesday, on top of the ballots cast in early voting.
But according to Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Mike Bennett, one commissioner in his re-election race has filed a challenge against about 100 voters.
Bennett said that Anna Maria Commissioner Charles Webb is arguing that these people vacation on the island and aren’t permanent residents and therefore can’t vote in the race. The affected voters were given provisional ballots, Bennett said.
“I’m not a residency cop,” Bennett said, adding that he believes Manatee County citizens are honest and if proper identification reflects their residency, he will allow their votes to be counted.
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As of 2 p.m., 69 percent of voters, including those who voted early, had made their voices heard. So far, only 18 percent of all eligible voters in Manatee County used the traditional Election Day to cast their votes.
This means 71,122 people, or 30 percent of registered voters, are still eligible to vote in the county.
Looking at the makeup of Election Day-only voters, 49 percent were Republican, 28 percent were Democrat and 23 percent were “other” voters, meaning those registered as third party or no party affiliation.
Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Mike Bennett said that even after the polls are closed, there will still be an influx of provisional ballots and overseas military votes that need to be counted.
“The vote will not be over today,” he said.