MANATEE COUNTY - After months of campaigning, the day to cast your vote for our next president is finally here.
At 7 a.m., poll workers were standing by to answer your questions and make sure everything goes smooth.
There are a total of 113 poll locations across the county. You should already know where to go, as it was mailed out prior to the election. However, you can easily log onto www.votemanatee.com and find it by searching your address.
Make sure you have a government issued id. A driver’s license is good with your information and signature. You can also use a passport.
Some voters camped out in front of their poll locations for hours before the doors opened. “I was the first person because I'm very happy I can come in and vote.”
For some it meant carrying on a lifelong tradition. “I voted all my life, from the time I was 21 I think, and my husband and I always made sure we voted.”
While for others, it was about making their vote count. “You feel you're doing your part for the local people, for the state people, and the nation.
Many of the voters say they wanted to avoid the long lines at the Supervisor of Election's Office for early voting, since it was the only location in Manatee County to do so. Other than that, voters said lines moved quickly, was well organized inside and despite Mother Nature making it a little messy it was well worth the trip.
Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Bob Sweat says he does not anticipate it being too crazy, but know there might be a wait at some locations. “I think, you know, if a person's prepared to wait about 30 minutes, that's probably the max except in maybe a couple of real large precincts, so it shouldn't be too bad,” says Sweat.
17,000 people in Manatee County already came out for early voting with a total of more than 40,000 absentee ballots already back. That's an 82 percent return so far, which sweat says is the best they have ever had and that's without the ones that will come in over the next couple of days.
Sweat says he anticipates you might wait in line anywhere from 15-30 minutes, but best times will be in between 2pm and 4pm, before and after work and lunch time will be the busiest.
The polls close at 7 pm, so as long as you're in line before then, you're good to go.