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Don’t forget to vote: Early voting underway

John Willoughby: Greene Publishing, Inc.

Early voting has begun and Madison County citizens are already taking to the polls for the 2018 primary elections, in anticipation for November's general elections. Here's what you need to know before the polls close.

According to the Florida Division of Elections, early voting is defined as casting a ballot in person prior to Election Day at a location designated by the Supervisor of Elections and depositing the voted ballot in the tabulation system. The voter uses the same type of voting equipment that is used at the polls on Election Day. In all elections, when there is a state or federal office race, early voting is required to be available. Early voting may be offered in county, municipal and other local elections.

Polls opened at various locations for early voting on Saturday, Aug. 18. Those polls will continue to be open during specific hours until Saturday, Aug. 25, at 6 p.m. Once the polls close, no other residents will be able to vote until the primary election on Tuesday, Aug. 28. Voters then, and only then, can vote at their designated precinct.

If you are unsure of where your precinct is, log onto votemadison.com and click 'Find your Precinct.' Then, enter your house number and slowly type in your street name. You do not need to enter the direction or street type. You will then select your street name from the options that appear.

If you will be away from home during the election or prefer to vote by mail, you are asked to call the Madison County Supervisor of Elections office to request a vote-by-mail ballot. Vote-by-mail ballot requests are valid for two general election cycles; call the Madison County Supervisor of Elections office to verify request is current. The deadline to request a vote-by-mail ballot is today, Wednesday, Aug. 22.

Voters who want to vote early should present a valid photo ID and a signature ID. Polls for early voting are located at the following locations:

Madison County Board Room Annex: 229 SW Pinckney St. Rm. 107 Madison, Fl. Monday through Friday: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Lee City Hall: 286 NE County Road 255 Lee, Fl. Monday through Friday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Greenville Senior Citizen Building: 166 SW Onslow St. Greenville, Fl. Monday through Friday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Pinetta Volunteer Fire Department: 509 NE Persimmon Dr. Pinetta, Fl. Monday through Friday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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