By Tamas Mondovics
To ensure that Election Day voting will be quicker and easier this election year, Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer and his staff made a major change for voters living in FishHawk and nearby communities. Given the growth within the community and in preparation of one of the busiest election seasons, Latimer and his staff have created a second voting precinct (702) in FishHawk. The proposed precinct split was first presented last summer.
The new polling location was supported by the FishHawk CDD boards and were subsequently approved by the Board of County Commissioners in December 2015, resulting in splitting the more than 11,000 registered voters who have been casting their ballots at the original Palmetto Club polling location.
The new Election Day polling place for voters living within precinct 702 will now be the Osprey Club at 5721 Osprey Ridge Dr., located across from Bevis Elementary School.
“We have added the second precinct with input and approval from the FishHawk CDD boards to accommodate the growth of the community,” Latimer said.
The split comes as no surprise, considering that the original precinct (701) was the County’s largest with the most staff needed.
“With the potential for long lines on Election Day, we believe this will be a great addition to the voting process,” Latimer said, adding that the new polling place means voters need to make sure they go to the correct location.
“One big thing is that if you vote in the wrong precinct, your vote will not count,” he said. “By law you must vote in the place assigned to your precinct on Election Day.”
Voters living within the boundaries of the new precinct have been sent a letter in the mail notifying them of the change and their new polling location. To find out the correct precinct, visit the Supervisor of Elections website, click on About Voting then scroll down to the Voting Precincts section. The bottom of that page has a prompter for a home address, which will identify the right precinct.
Latimer also emphasized that voters have three ways to vote in Florida: Early Voting, Vote by Mail and Election Day, which, of course, is the last opportunity. While the Election Day for the Presidential Preference Primary is Tuesday, March 15, which will require voters to find their precinct, Early Voting in Hillsborough County for the PPP Election takes place in 15 locations from February 29 – March 13. Visit www.votehillsborough.org.