Long lines at early voting sites during final hours

Published On: Nov 03 2012 04:10:24 PM EDT   Updated On: Nov 03 2012 12:00:00 PM EDT
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Long lines at most early voting precincts all over town this week grew even longer Saturday -- the final day to vote ahead of Tuesday's big election.

In 2008, 48 percent of Duval County voters cast ballots before Election Day -- and the goal of election officials is to beat that number this year.

While there's been record turnout on individual days, because there are half as many days of early voting now, reaching that goal will be a challenge.  As of Friday night, 36 percent of Duval County registered voters had cast ballots. Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland says that having eight, 12-hour days to vote has been a major benefit.

"Going basically eight election days in a row is difficult for workers, but it gives people a chance to vote before or after work, and that is a great convenience and people are taking great advantage of that," Holland said.

Vote totals through close of polls Friday

Mail-in ballotsEarly votes Percentage voted
Duval County57,02614,477636%
St. Johns County   44,20219,36042%
Clay County16,11534,90638%
Nassau County9,36515,30047%

"The ballot is four pages, so the lines will be incredibly long on Election Day, and we don't want to have people intimidated on Election Day to vote in a timely manner," said Tiffany McDonald of the Jacksonville Young Democrats.

"If you wait until 5 or 5:30 on Election Day you can expect to wait an hour to an hour and a half easily, because again, everyone in line by 7 can vote," Holland said. 

Remember to have your picture ID when going to vote, and look over your sample ballot. It will help you become familiar with the constitutional amendments and smaller races and make voting times shorter.