Sarasota County voters head to the polls

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SARASOTA - Election Day 2012 is finally here, and the polls are open to cast your vote for the next president of the United States, along with several other races.

If you are voting in Sarasota County make sure you have a copy of your signature and photo ID, which can be your driver’s license, a passport, or student or military ID.

You can vote at any of the 99 poll locations across the county. Your location should be on your voting card. However, you can easily find that at or by calling the office.

Supervisor of Elections Kathy Dent says the only problem she sees is longer lines as a result of people not knowing who or what they are voting for. “They all have their sample ballots. They should look and study it before you go and that will speed up the process. It will help with the lines and it will just make voting easier for them, so that they know who or what they are voting for before they go to the polls.

Before the sun came up this morning voters were already lining up at the polls. At precinct 227 there was a long line when poll workers arrived at 6 am, and when they opened at 7 am the line stretched half way around the building. 600 people had voted there. When the rain came shortly before 9 things slowed down and at that time we didn't see any long lines.

Before going to the polls you should read the amendments and decide how you are going to vote. The people who are prepared are getting in and out in 10 or 15 minutes. If you have to decide while you are there it can take much longer.

Dent says the busiest times at the polls will be before work, at lunch time or after work. If you go last minute, as long as you are in line by 7 pm, you will not be turned away.

Dent says voter turnout already with absentee and early voting combined, is more than 45 percent.