Early voting starts Monday, Oct. 22

OKEECHOBEE — Okeechobee County voters can start casting their ballots in the general election on Monday, Oct. 22, at the Supervisor of Elections Office in the Historic Okeechobee County Courthouse, 302 N.W. Second St.

Early voting will be offered through Nov. 3, every day, including weekends. The polls will be open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Okeechobee County Supervisor of Elections Diane Hagan said this gives local residents the option to vote on two Saturdays and one Sunday.

Early voting provides a more convenient alternative to traditional Election Day voting. For those who are unable to make it to their polling place on Election Day, they have the option to vote early when it better fits his or her schedule. Early voting is available at the Elections Office to all Okeechobee County voters up to 15 days before Election Day. If a voter still has a conflict with the designated times to early vote or vote on Election Day, he or she can still vote using the vote by mail (absentee) ballot.

Voters are reminded to bring proper identification for early voting, as required by Florida Statutes.

If you are unable to provide proper ID, you can still vote a provisional ballot. As long as you are eligible, your provisional ballot will count provided the signature on the provisional ballot voter’s certificate and affirmation matches the signature on your registration record.

If you need assistance to vote, notify the poll workers. You may bring someone to assist you or assistance can be provided.

If you need to change your residence address or update your signature, notify the poll worker before voting. They will assist you with completing the necessary paperwork.

The general election will be Nov. 6.

State and local races are on the ballot.

The candidates for Okeechobee County judge are Deborah Hooker and William Wallace.

City voters will also fill three seats on the city council. The candidates are Dowling Watford, Gary Ritter, Bob Jarriel and Bobby Keefe.

In the U.S. Senate Race, Republican Rick Scott challenges incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson.

In the Congressional District 17 Race the candidates are Republican Greg Steube and Democrat Allen Ellison, but April Freeman’s name appears on the ballot. Ms. Freeman died Sept. 23 – after the ballots had been printed – and Mr. Ellison has replaced her as a candidate.

Votes cast for April Freeman will count for Allen Ellison. The replacement candidate was chosen by the Democratic chairs in the district which includes parts of Charlotte, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Highlands, Lee, Okeechobee, Polk and Sarasota counties.

Democrat Andrew Gillum and Republican Ron DeSantis are the major party candidates for Florida governor.

In the 19th Judicial Circuit Judge race the candidates are Robert Meadows and Nirlaine Smartt.

Voters will also say “yes” or “no” to 12 amendments proposed to the Florida Constitution on a wide variety of topics.

For more information, go online to voteokeechobee.com or call the Supervisor of Elections Office at 863-763-4014.

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