The Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections will use Amalie Arena in downtown Tampa as its 25th early voting site for this year’s presidential election, the office announced Friday.
Early voting opens October 19 and runs through Nov. 1. Polls are open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.
The office partnered with the Tampa Bay Lightning and Amalie Arena to offer a large polling place and provide curbside mail ballot drop offs, a response to an expedited surge in vote by mail ballots.
“I’m seeing our community come together in a very powerful way to support this election,” said Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer. “The Tampa Bay Lightning is one of many community partners who are getting involved through voter registration drives, voter education, poll worker recruitment and more. This is a unique opportunity because Amalie Arena does not have other scheduled events during the Early Voting period.”
Added Tampa Bay Lightning Chairman and Governor Jeff Vinik: “We are grateful to be able to work with the Supervisor and his office to create another Early Voting location in Hillsborough County. The Lightning share in the community goal of increasing participation in our elections and we are pleased to offer up Amalie Arena this fall to those that wish to cast their ballots early.”
Unlike Election Day voting, voters can cast a ballot at any of the 25 early polling locations located throughout the county. On Election Day, voters must cast a ballot at their designated polling place.
The Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections office cautions voters to expect it to take a little longer to vote in person than normal due to health screenings related to COVID-19.
Polling places must arrange voting stations to accommodate social distancing and undertake greater sanitization methods to ensure safe voting. They are also limiting the number of people inside polling places at a time.
The office plans to begin mailing ballots to voters who have requested them on Sept. 24. Voters can still request a vote by mail ballot on the Hillsborough Supervisor of Elections website or by calling 813-744-5900.