Regardless of your place on the political spectrum, the upcoming General Election is said by many Americans to be the most important of our lifetime. And while millions of us have already voted, most have not, and our options are fading by the day.
According to Gerri Kramer, chief communications officer for the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections, the deadline for getting a mail-in ballot sent to you, provided you’re registered, is Oct. 24. But she said to ensure it’s received by 7 p.m. Nov. 3 and counted, it should be dropped off at, rather than mailed to any of the County’s 26 early voting sites, including the County’s four Supervisor of Elections regional offices. If you choose this option, be sure to read the ballot carefully and sign it.
On Monday, Nov. 2, or Tuesday, Nov. 3 (Election Day), mail-in ballots may ONLY be dropped off from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at any regional office.
Early in-person voting is under way and will continue through 7 p.m. Nov. 1. The most convenient sites for South Shore voters are the Apollo Beach Recreation Center, 664 Golf and Sea Blvd., Apollo Beach; Providence West Community Center, 5405 Providence Road, Riverview; Riverview Branch Library, 10509 Riverview Drive; SouthShore Regional Library, 15816 Beth Shields Way, Ruskin; and the Supervisor of Elections Southeast Regional Office, 10020 U.S. 301 S, Riverview.
And, of course, if you’re a traditional voter, you can go to your polling place on Election Day.
As an American citizen, I consider voting a right, responsibility and obligation, and I hope you do, too.
We’re voting for the future, and some might say the soul, of our nation and for the direction we want our country to take.
Despite our differences, People, it’s important for us to exercise the privilege our forefathers fought so hard to give us. It’s a small act of great significance, and one we’re called only to do every two years.
If you’re someone who works odd hours or whose days off do not include Election Day, then take advantage of early voting. If you have a transportation issue, plan ahead by asking a family member, friend or neighbor to take you. Uber and Lyft are offering discounted services, and organizations like Samaritan Services in Sun City Center are offering the community’s residents free rides to the polls Nov. 3.
Other organizations are also willing to help. Go online (or have someone check for you) to learn about them.
Remember, in-person early voting or Election Day voting requires identification showing your signature and photo. If your photo ID doesn’t include your signature, you must show a second ID that does.
Let’s not any of us be among those people who don’t vote, and then complain over the next four years about the way things are run in this country. EVERY SINGLE VOTE COUNTS. This is what participative government is all about.
So if you haven’t already done so, Folks, please choose an option and vote.
Lois Kindle is a freelance writer and columnist for The Observer News. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.