The Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections is continuing to expand its early voting footprint to provide adequate safe space for voting this November as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to create public health concerns.
The SOE will open early voting at Raymond James Stadium through a partnership with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Tampa Sports authority.
The addition means voters will now have 26 early voting sites open for this year’s General Election from Oct. 19 though Nov. 1 from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.
“I’ve always said that elections are a community project, and what we’re seeing this election is that we have wonderful community support,” said Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer. “This partnership with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tampa Sports Authority is about more than just space. It’s about communicating with our citizens that voting is important.”
The latest partnership follows a similar announcement last week that the office partnered with the Tampa Bay Lightning to provide early voting at Amalie Arena.
“The Tampa Sports Authority, in conjunction with our partners at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is proud to allow anyone in our community who chooses to vote early, to do so at Raymond James Stadium,” said Eric Hart, President/CEO of the Tampa Sports Authority, “ We are pleased to do our part to encourage our community to participate in this election and cast their vote.”
Added Tampa Bay Buccaneers Chief Operating Officer Brian Ford: “Increasing voter registration and participation is an essential part of our player-led social justice initiative and we look forward to playing a vital role in helping our community exercise its right to vote.”
Expanded early voting options are another tool to help ensure a safe and secure election. Voters can cast a mail ballot to avoid in-person voting or vote early at a location where crowds can be mitigated. The combination of both alternative voting options also means Election Day is likely to be less crowded.
Voters can cast a ballot at any early voting site, a contrast to Election Day when they must vote from their designated precinct.
Voters who wish to drop off a vote by mail ballot can do so curbside at the Raymond James Stadium site or any of the other 24 early voting locations.
Voters are cautioned to expect possible delays with in-person voting compared with previous years as poll workers take on necessary health and safety precaution to avoid the spread of COVID-19. Those measures include limiting the number of people inside each voting location, spacing within polling places to accommodate social distancing and enhanced sanitization measures.
Voters can still request a mail ballot on the SOE website or by calling (813) 744-5900.