Five counties in Florida have already begun in-person early voting for the GOP presidential primary.
In person early voting began Monday in Hillsborough, Hardy, Hendry, Monroe and Collier counties, five days ahead of the South Carolina primary. And while the downtown location was slow, more than 1,125 people cast ballots in Hillsborough on the first day, said Travis Abercrombie, a spokesman for the county supervisor of elections.
Because the five counties the AP lists are subject to the Voting Rights Act, they are currently operating under old elections rules. The state’s controversial new elections law — which shortens the number of early voting days — needs to gain federal approval before being implemented in those five counties. The new measure is currently in place in Florida’s other 62 counties.
State Rep. Mark Pafford, D-West Palm Beach, has introduced a bill that would expand the number of early voting days — effectively reversing one of the more unpopular measures in the current elections law. His law requires that early voting start “on the 15th day before an election that contains state or federal races,” instead of on the 10th day, which is present law, and says that early voting ends “on the 2nd day before the election,” instead of on the third.