Early voting increases in Hillsborough County

While the number of early voters from the Marshall Student Center (MSC) precinct decreased in comparison to 2008, the number of early votes cast in Hillsborough County has increased
by more than 20,000 votes.

Early votes in Hillsborough County in 2008 totaled 146,558. For the 2012 election, early votes totaled 166,913.

The MSC has already seen a 12.66 percent voter turnout because of early voting.

There have been 75 mail-in ballots and 164 early votes cast by voters registered to vote at the MSC. In 2008, there were 294 early ballots cast.

What I noticed about those who came to vote early was that they were prepared. They had read sample ballots and knew who to vote for, and that really increased the flow of traffic (in the early voting sites), Travis Abercrombie, public information coordinator for the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections.

Ferguson Yacyshyn, a senior majoring in political science, said his early voting experience was comparable to voting on actual Election Day.

It was exactly like my first voting experience in the MSC during the 2010 interim elections, he said There was a line. I wasnt just casting a ballot and leaving.

Yacyshyn voted early at the Temple Terrace Library as part of a Yes-We-Van event sponsored by Organizing for America.

The van took students to off-campus early voting sites to encourage them to vote.

The goal was to make it as easy as possible for students, Yacyshyn said. Its a big convenience factor.

The MSC is the voting location for students who are registered to vote who live on campus. Those who live off campus can utilize the Yes-We-Van service today to avoid parking troubles as they travel to their voting

Buses will leave from the MSC and outside of Juniper-Poplar Hall and will run every hour on the hour to transport students to off-campus voting locations.