Governor Rick Scott continued his “Get Out the Early Vote” bus tour on Tuesday with a stop in Gainesville at David’s Real Pit BBQ to rally voters and encourage them to head to the polls earlier rather than later.
“If you have an absentee ballot, go vote it,” Scott said. “Go to an early voting location. Get your friends together. Go vote. We need to all get out and vote.”
Scott reminded the audience, made up of about 100 University of Florida students and Alachua County residents, of his record job creation and advances with education funding – especially a reduction in tuition.
Early voting has been open since Wednesday, Oct. 22 and closes on Saturday, Nov. 1. Pam Carpenter, supervisor of elections for Alachua County, expects to see 17,000 to 18,000 votes before election night on Nov. 4.
“We’re seeing a lot of enthusiasm for early voting as well as absentees,” Carpenter said. “We hope that what this is saying is that we will have a really strong turn out for the election as a whole.”
On Tuesday morning, 7 percent, or 5,363 of the 74,543, registered Democrats and 5 percent, or 2,406 of the 45,124, registered Republicans in Alachua County have voted early.
“As of yesterday, almost 8,000 people had cast their ballots at one of our early voting centers,” Carpenter said. “At the end of the first weekend in 2010, about 5,700 people had cast their ballots. So we’re about 20 percent ahead of what we saw in 2010.”
With early and absentee voting increasing, Scott has been driving through Florida to rally voters and expand his platform: job creation, education funding and lower taxes. In addition to the appeal of early voting, all three resonated with students who attended the event.
“Early voting is crucial because it cuts down on lines and makes it easier for everyone to vote,” said Adam Ross, a University of Florida College Republican’s member. “I think it is more convenient with class and gives more people a chance to vote.”
In addition to Scott, Mayor Ed Brady spoke as well as Scott’s wife, Ann. Everyone stressed the importance of voting and encouraging others to do the same.
“Let’s get out the vote,” Scott said as he boarded his bus to cheers of “four more years”.
There are three locations for early voting in Gainesville, which can be found on the Alachua County Supervisor of Elections’ website.