JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Record numbers of people made their way to the ballot box early this year to cast their vote in the 2016 presidential race.
Sunday was the last day to cast an early vote, and the Duval County Supervisor of Elections Office said more than 227,000 people voted early. Nearly 50 percent of registered voters have cast a ballot. An 80 percent turnout is expected on Election Day.
The Souls to the Polls event in Jacksonville encouraged people to vote early, and allows them to enjoy live music, free food and games with other members of the community. It brought enough food for about 2,000 people.
"This is important to us, it's important that everyone get out and vote," Lee Harris, with African-American Ministers Leadership, said. "This election is one of the most important ones in my lifetime."
From the top of the ballot all the way to the bottom, Harris said every race matters and doing research is important.
"What happens in this local community is very important to us and who sits at the top basically shapes the agenda," Harris said.
Mone Holder, the regional director for New Florida Majority, said voting early is a huge advantage for busy and hardworking people.
"Often we think we will make it there Election Day but life happens," Holder said. "This gives you a chance to go to a location to early vote regardless of where you live and cast your ballot with ease."
Polls open 7 a.m. Tuesday and close at 7 p.m. Anyone in line by 7 p.m. will be permitted to vote.