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Broward to offer maximum early voting hours

Voting (1)

@amysherman1

Broward County will offer the maximum number of early voting hours in advance of the presidential election -- longer than initially planned.

The county will offer early voting from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Monday, Oct. 24 through Sunday, Nov. 6.

A brochure on the website of the Broward Supervisor of Elections states that early voting hours will be from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. for two weeks.

The Miami Herald had asked Broward Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes if she planned to keep those hours after Miami-Dade County announced it would offer the maximum 168 hours of early voting. Snipes' assistant told us in an email today that "early voting hours will be from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for a period of 14 days."

There had been some discussions among Democrats about whether the county needed the maximum number of early voting hours.

Sen. Chris Smith, who lost his race for County Commission, said he spoke with Snipes about early voting during the primary which drew only 16 percent turnout -- the lowest in the state.

"I mentioned to her the general will be much different and she needs to maximize the hours," Smith said. "She said she was looking into it."

Election supervisors have until Oct. 9th to set the hours. Statewide early voting doesn't have to begin until Oct. 29.

There were long lines during the 2012 election which prompted a change in state law to allow more early voting hours. Broward has about 1.1 million registered voters -- including the highest number of Democrats in the state -- so it is expected to turn out in large numbers for the race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Election day is Nov. 8th, but it's possible that half or more of voters will cast ballots before election day at early voting sites or by mail.

- Patricia Mazzei contributed to this article

 

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