Early voting under way; long line taking its toll

An elderly man became ill in the heat as he waited in line Saturday to vote in Bradenton.

An ambulance was called to treat the man, who was helped to the front of a two-block line to sit in the shade until paramedics arrived.

Another person in a wheelchair was taken out of the line by Assistant Supervisor Nancy Bignell after the woman's husband sought help because she was in frail health, and couldn't wait any longer to vote.

Bignell advised the couple to call the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections office on Monday and request an absentee ballot, rather than waiting any longer today.

Those standing at the back of the line at Manatee's only early voting site were prepared to wait up to two hours, they said.

People were sweltering in the heat, sipping from bottles of water. The temperature at midday was 80 degrees, with a brisk 24 mph breeze and 54 percent humidity, according to Bay News 9.

Manatee Supervisor of Elections Bob Sweat said early voting has always been at his office at 600 301 Boulevard W., Suite 108.

He said he would have liked another early voting site, but that he didn't have a place big enough to process the ballots.

"The only problem I'm having is, I've got a long line," he said looking at the line snaking down the block from the front door of his office.

Crowds of people turned out in force for early voting, which continues through Nov. 3. The general election is set for Nov. 6.

Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031. Follow her on Twitter @sarawrites.com.