BRADENTON -- More than 400 ballots were cast Saturday on the first day of early voting in Manatee County, according to election officials.
Volunteers for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said they were responsible for posting signs just outside the legal poll distance marker.
Trump backers Erin Sullivan and her husband, Terence Brennan, waited outside for the election hours from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. to end.
Sullivan proudly pointed to her "I just voted sticker" and wore a red hat with Trump's slogan: "Make America Great Again."
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"I want a wall now," Sullivan said. "Donald Trump is a builder ... look at the Great Wall of China. If the Chinese could do it, then America can do it."
Brennan said he agreed completely with his wife.
"We are not anti-immigration," he said.
His wife quickly adds: "We want legal immigration."
Their biggest reasons for supporting Trump, she said, was they are tired of the Republican establishment.
"We've voted for them over and over ... and they've done nothing," she said.
Florida's primary date is March 15. Early voting continues through March 12, but voters must have registered as either a Democrat or Republican by Feb. 16.
Precinct Clerk Chip Hurst said the first day went smoothly, with most early voters in and out in a matter of a cou
ple of minutes.
Hurst and poll workers happily greeted voters throughout the day at the Supervisor of Elections office precinct.
"First thing this morning, we had about 30 people waiting in line," Hurst said.
About five voters came in saying they had been listed erroneously as nonpartisan. Hurst said he offered provisional ballots, and explained they would have to go before the canvassing board.
Some voters weren't willing to share a candidate choice. Rosa Alba Chalarca said she preferred to keep her vote confidential.
"We just want the situation to get better," she said in Spanish. "Let it be for the better."
The five early voting locations in Manatee County:
Lakewood Ranch Town Hall, 8175 Lakewood Ranch Blvd.
Palmetto Library, 923 Sixth St. W.
Rocky Bluff Library, 6750 U.S. 301, Ellenton
Supervisor of Elections Office, 600 301 Blvd. W., Bradenton
West Manatee Fire and Rescue Administration, 6417 Third Ave. W., Bradenton
Jessica De Leon, Herald law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter @JDeLeon1012.