MANATEE — Poll workers handed out ballots to a regular stream of early voters Monday.
About 100 residents made it to the supervisor of elections office, 600 301 Blvd. W., on the first day of two weeks of early voting to cast their ballots for the Aug. 24 primary elections.
“It wasn’t an exceptional number,” said Bob Sweat, the county supervisor of elections, “but it’s been steady. For the first day it was good.”
Early voting will continue through Aug. 22 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday; 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays; and noon-4 p.m. Sundays.
Sweat said the voting went smoothly and without any glitches.
“It’s been excellent,” he said. “Everyone was doing a great job.”
There were very few questions and the voters seemed to know the routine.
Naomi Collins, who was very familiar with the process because she and her husband are poll workers at one of the precincts, said voting early was convenient for them.
“We’re pretty busy on election day,” Collins said.
She said they have been voting early since the option became available in the 2002 presidential election. Before that she would vote an absentee ballot for convenience, she said.
For Iris Kiss, it was a matter of just getting the job done.
“Why wait?” Kiss said, as she and her husband exited the polling station and hurried to their car in the hot parking lot.
Also sweating it out in the parking lot late in the afternoon were several supporters of some of the candidates and even one candidate himself.
Jeremiah Guccione, who is running against Robert McCann and Greg Steube for the Republican nomination in Florida House District 67, stood in the parking lot manhandling a large campaign sign.
Guccione said the number of voters has been small but being a newcomer to campaigning, he thought he should be at the poll.
Sweat said he would encourage everyone who can to come out and vote early.
“The more voting early means the smaller the lines on election day,” he said.