Voting underway in South Florida

PALM BEACH COUNTY

By Eliot Kleinberg and Ana M. Valdes, Palm Beach Post Staff Writers

Polls now are open in Palm Beach County for today's election.

"Things are running pretty smoothly," Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher said around 7:45 a.m., 45 minutes after voting commenced.

The only glitch so far: workers at one precinct got into the building OK, but found that the door to the actual voting room was locked. Bucher said a security guard was found and the problem was resolved by 6:30 a.m. She declined to identify the location, saying she wanted to save folks some embarrassment.

Even before precinct doors opened at the Bent Tree Villas senior community, west of Boynton Beach, several early risers who'd waited in their cars walked in right away to get in their votes before morning rush hour. There was no wait time.

One of the first to vote: a Boynton Beach resident who asked to be identified only as "Rich." He said his voting experience went smoothly until he had to insert the ballot into the scanner.

"They are a little frazzled in there," he said, "but they will figure it out."

Another voter said as she left that she also had trouble with the machine.

Boynton Beach voter Kevin Oates said his experience was "excellent" and he had no issues.

"It was all good," he said, adding that he hopes his two great-grandchildren, whom he brought with him, learn early on about the voting process.

"I hope that they can vote one of these days," Oates added.

At Church of the Farms, near Jupiter, precinct clerk Alison Schram reported 22 people had voted as of 8 a.m.

Sherene Drake, an antique dealer and housewife from Jupiter Farms, said she found out this morning that her husband's name was not on the roll of registered voters. The couple changed their address three weeks ago, but Drake said it should not have been an issue.

David Webber, an accountant from Jupiter Farms, had not voted but was holding signs for a school board candidate at a precinct entrance.

"Maybe if people hadn't made their mind up" when they came to vote, then holding signs and having a presence at a precinct could influence some individuals, Webber said. But, he said, "even if it's just a few votes, it's worth it."

At the First Baptist Church of Greenacres, campaigners holding signs on the sidewalk outside said around 9 a.m. that they had seen only about a dozen people pull into the precinct parking lot to vote.

Polls are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Voters must present a valid, current form of identification with their picture and signature on it, such as a driver license, passport, or debit or credit card.

To find your precinct in Palm Beach County, log on to the the Supervisor of Elections website, pbcelections.org, and click on the "Where Do I Vote" icon. In Martin County, go to martinvotes.com and click on "Find my Precinct."

Check throughout the day for updates.

Staff writer Andrew Maloney contributed to this story.

 

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY

Scripps Treasure Coast Nespapers

Some voters around the Treasure Coast were in line waiting for the polls to open at 7 a.m. Tuesday.

Richard Concilio, 65, of Vero Beach, who teaches students about character development at Sebastian Charter Junior High School, arrived at the Central Assembly of God on State Road 60 in western Indian River County at 6:45 a.m., ready to vote.

"It's your responsibility," he said. "It would be ludicrous not to vote."

He admitted the sheriff race is what's holding his interest this time around. Sheriff Deryl Loar is up against former sheriff's Lt. Bill McMullen.

Concilio was among 10 people who had voted by 7:10 a.m. at the church.

First in line was Phyllis Lourie, 75, of Vero Beach.

The regular voter said she "came out early to beat the crowd."

Traffic was insignificant around voting precincts in Indian River County.

"We've had no glitches so far," said Supervisor of Elections Leslie Swan, herself on the ballot against challenger Sandi Harpring. "Eveything is up and running and going well."

Swan said she expects 13,000 people to vote today, which is about half of the 28 percent total voter turnout she anticipates.

Likewise, elections supervisors in St. Lucie and Martin counties also report no problems so far this morning.

Poll deputy Claude Burke said there were 12 people waiting in line at the Lakewood Park Village Hall ready to vote at 7 a.m., and it's been a steady stream of voters since then.

St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections Gertrude Walker has been predicting a 35 percent overall turnout, but said Tuesday morning that with early voting turnout relatively high, St. Lucie County may exceed her original prediction.

Martin County Supervisor of Elections Vicki Davis said all precincts are open and things are running well.

"We've had a very smooth opening this morning. No issues," Davis said about 7:30 a.m.

Florida is a closed primary state,

so in partisan elections, you may vote only for candidates who belong to the same party for which you are registered. Thus, if you are not registered as a Democrat or a Republican, you can vote only on nonpartisan offices, such as county school board races.

The exception is when the winner of a partisan office will be decided in the primary because all the candidates for the office are from the same political party. In this situation, of which there are several across the Treasure Coast this election cycle, all voters are eligible to vote on the contest, regardless of party affiliation.

Voters will need a signed photo identification with them to cast a ballot. The polls are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

 

ST. LUCIE COUNTY

Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers

Some voters around the Treasure Coast were waiting for the polls to open at 7 a.m.

Poll deputy Claude Burke said there were 12 people waiting in line at the Lakewood Park Village Hall ready to vote when the polls opened, and it's been a steady stream of voters since then.

Tammy Wickard, 43, a work-at-home mom, voted there about 7:45 a.m.

She arrived early "to beat the crowd and get some exercise," with son, Brett Jacquin, 12, in tow to show him what voting is all about.

Over in Fort Pierce, police officers said there haven't been any traffic problems, so it's clear sailing to polling places.

Jose Cabriales, 55, voted just before 9 a.m. at the Havert Fenn Center on Virginia Avenue, which hosts precincts 13 and 81.

He said the City Commission District 1 election caught his interest and he wanted to be sure his ballot was counted.

Incumbent Reggie Sessions faces R. Duke Nelson and Alfredia Wilder-Agnew for the seat.

St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections Gertrude Walker said all is going smoothly.

"It won't be until about 11 a.m. when we get information from the precincts on turnout," she said.

Walker has been predicting a 35 percent overall turnout, but said Tuesday morning that with early voting turnout relatively high, St. Lucie County may exceed her original prediction.

Likewise, elections supervisors in Martin and Indian River counties also report no problems so far this morning, and traffic is insignificant around polling places.

Martin County Supervisor of Elections Vicki Davis said all precincts are open and things are running well.

"We've had a very smooth opening this morning. No issues," Davis said about 7:30 a.m. "Every precinct is opened up and voters are being processed."

Davis said she thought about 8,000 people will cast ballots at the polls. She said there were about 3,700 ballots cast early – slightly less than the projected number of 4,000.

In Indian River County, Phyllis Lourie, 75, of Vero Beach was first in line at her precinct, the Central Assembly of God on State Road 60 in the western county.

The regular voter said she "came out early to beat the crowd."

"We've had no glitches so far," said Indian River's Supervisor of Elections Leslie Swan, herself on the ballot against challenger Sandi Harpring. "Everything is up and running and going well."

Swan said she expects 13,000 people to vote today, which is about half of the 28 percent total voter turnout she anticipates.

Florida is a closed primary state, so in partisan elections, you may vote only for candidates who belong to the same party for which you are registered. Thus, if you are not registered as a Democrat or a Republican, you can vote only on nonpartisan offices, such as county school board races.

The exception is when the winner of a partisan office will be decided in the primary because all the candidates for the office are from the same political party. In this situation, of which there are several across the Treasure Coast this election cycle, all voters are eligible to vote on the contest, regardless of party affiliation.

 

MARTIN COUNTY

Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers

Some voters around the Treasure Coast were waiting for the polls to open at 7 a.m.

Martin County Supervisor of Elections Vicki Davis said all precincts are open Tuesday morning and things are running well.

"We've had a very smooth opening this morning. No issues," Davis said about 7:30 a.m. "Every precinct is opened up and voters are being processed."

Davis said she thought about 8,000 people will cast ballots at the polls. She said there were about 3,700 ballots cast early – slightly less than the projected number of 4,000.

Likewise, elections supervisors in St. Lucie and Indian River counties also report no problems so far this morning, and traffic is insignificant around polling places.

St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections Gertrude Walker said all is well in her county.

"It won't be until about 11 a.m. when we get information from the precincts on turnout," she said.

She has been predicting a 35 percent overall turnout, but said Tuesday morning that with early voting turnout relatively high, St.

Lucie County may exceed her original prediction.

In Indian River County, Phyllis Lourie, 75, of Vero Beach was first in line at her precinct, the Central Assembly of God on State Road 60 in the western county.

The regular voter said she "came out early to beat the crowd."

"We've had no glitches so far," said Indian River's Supervisor of Elections Leslie Swan, herself on the ballot against challenger Sandi Harpring. "Everything is up and running and going well."

Swan said she expects 13,000 people to vote today, which is about half of the 28 percent total voter turnout she anticipates.

Florida is a closed primary state, so in partisan elections, you may vote only for candidates who belong to the same party for which you are registered. Thus, if you are not registered as a Democrat or a Republican, you can vote only on nonpartisan offices, such as county school board races.

The exception is when the winner of a partisan office will be decided in the primary because all the candidates for the office are from the same political party. In this situation, of which there are several across the Treasure Coast this election cycle, all voters are eligible to vote on the contest, regardless of party affiliation.

Voters will need a signed photo identification with them to cast a ballot. The polls are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

 

OKEECHOBEE COUNTY

Okeechobee County voters click here or here

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