ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Sunday is the last day for early voting. If you don't cast your ballot by tonight, you'll have to do so on election day.
- Last day for early voting
- Democrats ahead for early voting
- Early Voting: What you need to know
- Decision 2018 Voting Guide
Saturday was a huge day for early voting. Thirty three percent of voters cast their ballots on Saturday. Statewide turnout for Republicans is at 39 percent and Democrats is at 36 percent. Non-party affiliated voters is at 23 percent.
Not only are we seeing big numbers, but we're seeing close numbers between Republicans and Democrats — which is typical in Florida.
The biggest lead we're seeing so far in the Bay area for early voting is Democrats up about 10,000 votes compared to Republicans in Hillsborough County.
Officials say those numbers will likely increase today as people head to the polls until 7 p.m. in Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties. Early voting in Polk County is from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
In Hillsborough County, the total of vote by mail and early vote ballots that have already been cast surpassed the 2013 midterm election days ago. With the incredible turnouts, the security of the ballots, as always, is at the top of the priority list.
Voters should know that all the ballots are locked and secured. The machines keep track of the results, and at the end of the day a card is inserted to end the voting, then tapes with the results are produced.
Before voting even begins, the accuracy of the machines are tested. And keeping the ballots secure remains a priority after voting is complete on election day.
"The ballots are then gathered up, put into a sealed bag with a lock on it, and then we have them returned to our office and they're stored under 24/7 surveillance in a locked area that has minimal access to it," Craig Latimer with the Hillsborough County Supervisors of Elections said.
If you can't make it out today to vote early, you can vote on election day this Tuesday from 7 a.m to 7 p.m. Just remember you have to vote in your precinct and to bring a signed photo ID.
It is too late to mail a ballot, so you must drop those off to your supervisor of elections office before 7 p.m. on Tuesday.