Early voters rushing to polls by the thousands as both presidential campaigns keep close watch

Posted at 6:53 PM, Oct 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-25 03:02:57-04
Thousands in the Tampa Bay area are filling out their ballots. All eyes on Florida, as voters are selecting who they want the next president to be in 50 counties, including Hillsborough.
Back in 2012, the county saw at least 20,000 people fill out their ballots before Election Day. Election supervisors are still counting up the numbers, but so far, at least 18,000 people have voted since early voting sites opened Monday morning.
More than a million Floridians have already cast their vote by mail. Thousands of others are making their choice a full two weeks before Election Day. 
Hugues Mathe is a Haitian pastor. He became an American citizen fourteen years ago. Mathe says he has voted in every election cycle since. He voted Monday out of convenience and out of civic duty.
“I’m very passionate and it’s a right and I feel very proud to do it," he said.
University of South Florida student Andrew Miller is trying to debunk a stereotype about millennials. He is one of the first to board a shuttle driving USF students to voting sites that is encouraging the younger generation to vote.
“There’s a lot of people who think we don’t vote and there’s a kind of lethargy among our generation," said Miller.
According to the Pew Research Center, millenials like Andrew now rival baby boomers in political force. Both generations taking up 31% of the electorate.
“I’m incredibly excited, incredibly excited," he said about voting.
Political analysts are also excited and are keeping their eyes on the Sunshine State. Polls show a close race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. These last couple of days before Election Day, could very well be the turning point for Florida. Election leaders say, don’t wait.
“I hope when you get up that morning, you’re not sick" said Supervisors of Elections for Hillsborough County, Craig Latimer, "That somebody you are taking care of isn’t sick. Your car starts. You don’t have a flat tire. Don’t get shut out.”
One thing is for sure, Florida is no easy loss for either candidate. Their future is being decided right now.
The early voting process has also improved since the last presidential election. In 2012, there were just eight days of early voting. This election cycle, most counties are allowing early voting for nearly two weeks.