Want to skip the long lines at early voting? Vote from home!
WFTX - There's an old saying that the early bird gets the worm, but getting the worm is taking longer than some early birds expect.
Early voting is off and running in Southwest Florida and some voters have been surprised to find long lines and lengthy waits at the polls.
Part of the reason may be the length of this year's ballot.
It's four pages long because includes several wordy proposed amendments to Florida's constitution.
You still have a chance to avoid any waiting by voting from home with mail-in ballot which is also known as an absentee ballot.
Any registered voter can request an mail-in/absentee ballot. You do NOT have to be out of town to request one.
But you'll have to act fast.
Officials at the Lee county elections office and other local elections offices say you have until Wednesday, October 31st, to request a mail-in ballot.
You can request your ballot in business hours when you call your elections office:
Lee County - (239) LEE-VOTE (533-8683)
Collier County - (239) 252-8450
Charlotte County - (941) 833-5400
Hendry County - (863) 675-5230
Glades County - (863) 946-6005
DeSoto County - (863) 993-4871
The most important thing to remember is that your mail-in ballot must be returned to your county elections office by no later than 7pm on election day, November 6th.
To be sure your ballot is counted, you can fill out the mail-in ballot at home - then bring to your elections office.
That way, you don't have to worry about any mailing delays.
You cannot drop off a mail in ballot at an early voting location. The only place it will be accepted in person is at an elections office.
If you decide to stick with early voting instead of a mail-in ballot, you can at least get an idea of what to expect in Collier county.
The Collier elections office website lets you check the wait time before you go.
If all else fails, you can always vote on election day, (Tuesday) November 6th between 7am and 7pm.
State law guarantees your right to vote as long as you're in line by 7pm.
So if, for example, there is a 1 hour wait on election day and you get in line at 7pm, you'll actually cost your ballot at 8pm. But your vote will still count!