Do you remember voting in your first presidential election?
For me it’s clear as day. It was the 1988 election cycle. Regardless of whether I was for Bush, Dukakis or another candidate, I was energized to exercise my right to vote along with more than 83,500 Seminole County residents. We all had 12 hours to vote and that was it. In 1988, there was no such thing as early voting. When I walked into my polling location in Casselberry, I stood with all of my neighbors waiting in line, discussing matters of the day, and sharing a significant moment in American history.
People weren't necessarily there to pick a winner. They were there to make a choice. A choice they felt was best for our country. If their candidate won, great. If their candidate came up short, then so be it – at least each choice counted. It was great to see people from all walks of life chatting excitedly and weighing in on which way the needle of our political government should move – left or right?
I bring this up because recently a childhood friend of mine brought in a first time voter to my office for early voting (which like I mentioned, was an option we didn’t have back in 1988). As this young lady casted her first ballot, I watched my friend beam with pride. The three of us walked outside to the #VoteSeminole Selfie Station to take a photo for social media. As I reached my arm out to take the photo, I remembered how different thing were not too many years ago. The methods for voting may have changed, and the experience today may be more high-tech, but the core element has remained. Your vote is your choice. I'm not sure if the young lady’s vote moved the needle to the left or the right, but it doesn't really matter. She'll never forget the day she made her first choice.
I've always believed our American elections are about just that – making choices. Since I cast my first ballot in 1988, decades have passed and I've grown up from that skinny Casselberry kid to become the Seminole County Supervisor of Elections – the man honored with administering elections in my home county. What a privilege it is to be part of the process and see my county voter numbers grow from 83,500 to more than 293,000 strong. While there have been immense changes and growth in our county and our nation, my 1988 sentiment remains the same in this year’s presidential race. Elections are about citizens making choices.
Absentee Ballot – Vote From the Comfort of Home
Nearly 80,000 Seminole County voters have been mailed an absentee ballot so they can vote from the comfort of their own home. Husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, single folks, college roommates or even good friends, all gather around the kitchen table and discuss their choices.
Early Voting – And Seminole County is Leading The Charge
There are eight early voting centers spread throughout Seminole County, so no matter where you are, an early voting center is nearby. Since expanding our early voting several years ago, we've lead the way with more early voting centers per square mile than any county in the southeastern United States. For 168 hours this election, you’ve had the opportunity to cast your choice at a place close to home or work.
Election Day Voting – Making it Easier For You
Many voters choose to wait until Election Day to cast their ballot. In fact, in Seminole County around 35 percent of voters are choosing this classic, day-of voting. It’s quickly becoming popular among voters who find this method to have the shortest lines.
Here’s how the Supervisor of Elections office has also helped make it easier for you:
- We've selected a neighborhood-based polling location for you that is easy to find, fully accessible, and chock full of parking and room inside the building.
- We’ve also done something you probably haven't even thought of. We’ve organized the flow of traffic so that most people in your neighborhood turn right to get into the polling place, thus allowing a smooth entry and exit from voting.
With all these choices, we've provided you with more options, efficient operations, excellent service from America's finest elections team, and above all, a process which is trusted by the more than 293,000 voters in Seminole County.
Visit VoteSeminole.org to learn about the choices you have in voting. And no matter your choice – vote!
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