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State waits to consider possible election changes

Secretary of State Ken Detzner said Monday he’s waiting for requests from elections supervisors in hurricane-ravaged counties before considering any changes for the Nov. 6 election.

“The department is in regular communication with supervisors of elections in affected counties, and they are still in the process of assessing potential damage to early-voting and election-day voting sites as well as any other impacts that could affect voters in their area,” Detzner said in a statement. “We will continue to work closely with supervisors and provide any needed assistance, as well as ensure updates are communicated to voters and the media once more information is available.”

Detzner traveled to hard-hit Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gulf and Liberty counties on Monday.

“I saw firsthand the devastation Hurricane Michael brought to these areas and my heart goes out to them,” Detzner said.

The deadline to register to vote in the November election was last Tuesday. But Detzner granted a partial extension to counties where elections offices were closed that day because of Hurricane Michael, which hit Wednesday as a Category 4 storm.

Counties where elections offices were closed last Tuesday will be able to accept paper voter-registration applications to the day they reopen.

As of Monday afternoon, more than 334,000 people statewide had cast vote-by-mail ballots for the election, including 121,594 by Democrats and 152,191 by Republicans.

But Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gulf, Liberty, Jackson, Holmes, Washington and Gadsden counties hadn’t updated their vote-by-mail numbers since before Michael came ashore.

Early voting statewide runs from Oct. 27 to Nov. 3, though county supervisors can add some extra days.

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