As Election Day quickly approaches, Early Voting has opened in Alachua County.
Starting Monday and running through Oct. 31, Early Voting provides opportunities for registered voters to cast their ballot ahead of Election Day Nov. 3.
In Alachua County specifically, there are six different Early Voting locations. Voters may choose to vote at the Alachua County Supervisor of Elections Office, Tower Road Branch Library, Millhopper Branch Library, Legacy Park Multipurpose Center, Orange Heights Baptist Church or the J. Wayne Reitz Union.
Each polling place will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. These hours will remain the same on Saturdays and Sundays.
Carly Rubin, a 19-year-old drama and educational theatre sophomore at New York University, said she made the decision to vote early at the Reitz Union with her roommates.
For Rubin, who is from Gainesville, this was her first time voting, and she chose the Early Voting option because she said she wanted to avoid the lines on Election Day.
“I think this is something that a lot of people talk about doing and then don’t end up doing because they are lazy or like to talk the talk, but not walk the walk,” she said. “I really wanted to make sure that I did.”
According to Vote Alachua, acceptable identification, with both a picture and a signature, must be presented in order to vote. The website states that “a Florida Driver’s License, a Florida Identification Card, United States passport, debit or credit card, military or student ID, retirement center or neighborhood association ID or public assistance ID” can all be used as identification.
If these requirements are not met, the person will be allowed to vote through a provisional ballot, which gives the individual until 5 p.m. on the second day following the election to prove he or she is eligible to vote.
Garrison Wells, a 19-year-old mechanical engineering sophomore at the University of Florida, said he originally received an absentee ballot, but he decided to vote in-person at the Reitz Union instead. Wells said that although he does not have a problem with mail-in voting, he felt that it would be better to vote in-person. As a result, he decided to invalidate his mail-in ballot.
“It was very nice because I didn’t have to show up at a particular time,” he said. “It was very easy, and it was a very well-organized system.”
On Election Day, the polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. If voters decide to cast their ballots on this day, they must vote at their assigned precinct. Individuals can use the county’s Precinct Finder to determine their polling place for Nov. 3.