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Early voters in Hillsborough County already top 2014 primary

Posted: 10:20 PM, Aug 27, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-28 03:17:07Z

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — Florida voters in Hillsborough County are motivated to get their favorite candidate into office.

“We are seeing a big uptick we’ve already had more voters than the entire 2014 primary,” Craig Latimer the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections said. “126,000 voted in 2014, and we are now at 135,000 voters. Historically, our primaries have been small especially in a midterm year.”

Latimer believes a bigger than usual field of candidates on the Republican and Democratic side for the open governor’s seat has created more excitement for this year’s primary.  U.S. Senator Bill Nelson is also getting challenged for his spot by current Gov. Rick Scott and Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente. 

Two races in Hillsborough County will be decided on primary day. The Board of County Commissioners District 7 between Todd Marks and Aakash Patel. And County Court Judge Group 5 between Jared Smith and Bill Yanger.

Latimer says a common mistake on election day is not bringing identification.

“Don’t forget your photo signature ID bring your drivers license,” Latimer said. 

Latimer said the state has beefed up their systems to combat potential cyber attacks. And election officials have worked diligently to prepare for Tuesday’s primary and the November midterm.

“We’ve got 3,000 poll workers out there that have been through training. We got the equipment delivered already; it’s been tested and tested and tested. That doesn’t mean it’s always going to work.  We might have to replace something here or there, but the one beauty is we use a paper ballot, and we keep those ballots for 22 months,” Latimer said. “We are the fourth largest county in the state so we’ve got plans in place and we hope to have a good day out there.  Every vote counts.”