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If you wait until election day, expect long lines at the polls

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Updated: 10/16/2012 7:48 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- There are a few things voters can do to avoid long lines at the polls. One is voting by absentee ballot. The other, visiting an early voting site the week before election day. 

Duval voter Judy Meade chose to vote by absentee ballot. She says it gives her the opportunity to educate herself on each issue and saves her a lot of time. "I get an absentee ballot because there are so many amendments it's going to take me a while to read them all," says Meade.

Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland says, with close to 558,000 voters in Duval County this election, lines will be long. "If you come first thing in the morning or late in the afternoon you can expect to be in lines probably sometimes up to a couple of hours," Holland says. 

He says even with nearly 200 polling places in Duval County, the lengthy ballot itself will delay the process. "We've had some long ballots but not countywide four-page ballots and not with this many amendments and this many words on the ballots," he says. His advice, vote by mail, vote early, and come prepared. 

"Take your sample ballot read it before you get to the polls. Make sure you've done your homework so you're not there for the first time reading that ballot." Holland expects this year's voter turnout to be around 80 percent.

He says the recent spike in voter registration means people are taking this election seriously. And voters like Judy Meade say that's the way it should be. 

"It's pivotal. A lot of things going on in our culture and our world and we need to exercise our right to vote. 19 people will die for that in other places. We need to take advantage of that and be great full for it," she says. 

There are eight days of early voting, starting October 27th and ending November 3rd. Each day, the early voting sites will be open from 7 am to 7 pm. 
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