In-person early voting begins Saturday in Brevard for primary elections

·7 min read

In-person early voting begins Saturday in advance of the Aug. 23 primary elections, and will run for eight days.

Here's what you need to know about the early voting period, including answers from Brevard County Supervisor of Elections Lori Scott:

When is in-person early voting held?

Saturday, Aug. 13, through Saturday, Aug. 20.

Early voting sites will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday; and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Do have to vote at a specific polling place?

No. You can vote at any of the 10 early voting sites in Brevard County, as long are you a registered voter in Brevard County eligible to vote in the primary.

That's not true if you opt to vote in the primary day, Aug. 23, when you must vote in your designated polling place. That day, polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Brevard County Supervisor of Elections workers set up voting equipment at the Walter Butler community Center at the Bernice Jackson Park in Cocoa for early voting, which begins Saturday. There are 10 early voting locations in the county,
Brevard County Supervisor of Elections workers set up voting equipment at the Walter Butler community Center at the Bernice Jackson Park in Cocoa for early voting, which begins Saturday. There are 10 early voting locations in the county,

Where are the 10 polling places for early voting? 

  • David R. Schechter Community Center, 1089 S. Patrick Drive, Satellite Beach.

  • Dr. Joe Lee Smith Community Center, 415 Stone St., Cocoa.

  • Kiwanis Island Park Gymnasium, 950 Kiwanis Island Park Road, Merritt Island.

  • Max K. Rodes Park Community Center, 3410 Flanagan Ave., West Melbourne.

  • Ted Whitlock Community Center, 370 Championship Circle NW, Palm Bay.

  • Titusville Public Library, 2121 S. Hopkins Ave., Titusville.

  • Tony Rosa Palm Bay Community Center, 1502 Port Malabar Blvd. NE, Palm Bay.

  • Viera Regional Community Center, 2300 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Viera.

  • Walter Butler Community Center, 4201 N. Cocoa Blvd., Sharpes.

  • Wickham Park Community Center, 2815 Leisure Way, Melbourne.

Who can vote in primaries?

Registered Republicans can vote in Republican primaries. Registered Democrats can vote in Democratic primaries. All registered voters can vote in nonpartisan primaries, such as those for judges, Brevard School Board members and Titusville City Council members.

Everything about the elections: 2022 Primary Election: Ultimate voter's guide

Two-county election: Republican primary for House District 30 pits Brevard's Hattaway, Volusia's Tramont

New district's race: Brevard's redrawn House District 34 race attracts 3 Indian River Republican candidates to primary

Of course, you have to live in the district for which the primary is taking place — like in County Commission District 2 for the District 2 Republican primary.

These are among the mail ballots the Brevard County Supervisor of Elections Office later sent out to voters.
These are among the mail ballots the Brevard County Supervisor of Elections Office later sent out to voters.

What's on the ballot this election?

There are some statewide races. That includes Democratic primaries for governor, attorney general, commissioner of agriculture and consumer services, and U.S. senator. There is a Republican primary for commissioner of agriculture and consumer services.

There are three nonpartisan judicial races (18th Circuit Court judge Group 3, Brevard County judge Group 2 and Brevard County judge Group 4); three nonpartisan Brevard School Board races (Districts 1, 2 and 5); and two nonpartisan Titusville City Council races (Seats 1 and 5).

Republicans have primaries for two Florida House seats (Districts 30 and 34); and two Brevard County Commission seats (Districts 2 and 4).

Democrats have primaries for U.S. Congress District 8 and Florida Senate District 8.

Anything unusual about how the election results work?

In the judicial races, School Board races and Titusville City Council races, candidates must get more than 50% to win the election. If no candidate gets more than 50% in elections with three or more candidates, the top two finishers in the primary have what amounts to a runoff election on the general election day on Nov. 8.

Is it too late to register to vote?

Yes, the "book closing" deadline to register to vote for the primary election or switch political party registration in time for the primary was July 25.

How many people are eligible to vote in Brevard County in the primary?

There were a total of 454,230 registered voters in Brevard County as of the book closing deadline. Of those, 193,347 are registered Republicans; 130,343 are registered Democrats; 120,036 are voters without party affiliation; and 10,504 are members of a minor political party.

What is voter turnout likely to be?

Scott expects that turnout will be 25% to 30%.

Primary elections do not draw as many voters as the November general election.

Many of the voters will be casting ballots through the vote-by-mail option or during in-person early voting, rather than on primary day.

How many votes have been cast by mail ballot so far?

As of Thursday, 33,275, which represents 7.33% of eligible voters.

What kind of trends are you seeing in voter interest this year in the primary election?

"Voter interest varies based on candidates motivating voters to the polls — whether to vote for or against a particular candidate or candidates," Scott said.

What are some things voters should be aware of when going to polling places for early voting or for election day voting?

Scott noted that 2022 is a redistricting year, which means a voter’s precinct number and/or polling location may have changed.

"Voters are encouraged to verify their voting information, including their polling location, and a list of Brevard’s early voting sites before every election," Scott said.

Can you explain the changes in the use of drop boxes this year?

"Per statute, boxes are now considered 'secure ballot intake stations,' ” Scott said. Legislation approved in 2021 "also specifies how the secure ballot intake stations must be monitored."

Mail ballot voters have the option to return their ballot through the U.S. Postal Service or to a "secure ballot intake station" (formerly known as "drop boxes").

Secure ballot intake stations are available in the lobby of all four administrative Supervisor of Elections Offices and at all 10 early voting sites. Check VoteBrevard.gov for hours of availability.

Because of legislative changes, secure ballot intake stations no longer are available for use 24 hours a day, Scott said.

What if I'm voting by mail?

If you're voting by mail, Scott recommends mailing your mail ballot at least eight days before the election to ensure it gets to her office in time.

Mail ballots must be received by the supervisor of elections by 7 p.m. on election night, Aug. 23.

Voters can track the status of their ballot through the Supervisor of Elections at www.VoteBrevard.gov under the blue "ballots by mail" tab.

What issues have come up with mail-in ballots that voters should be aware of?

"Voters should verify their address is up to date on their voter record, so their mail ballot is not returned as undeliverable, and keep their signature current to ensure their returned mail ballot can be properly verified," Scott said.

What is the total number of mail ballots sent out for the primary?

As of Aug. 8, there were 147,340 mail ballots issued for the primary.

What other things should voters be aware of this year?

“Unfortunately, misinformation and disinformation campaigns intensify every year as we get closer to the election," Scott said. "It is important for voters to be guardians in the fight against misinformation and to verify information they’ve seen before sharing it.

Scott termed her office and its website — VoteBrevard.gov — as "the trusted source for election-related information." Voters can call her office at 321-290-8683 if they have questions or concerns.

Where do I get a sample ballot?

Voters should have gotten one in the mail.

If you didn't get one or lost it, sample ballots can be downloaded and printed by following the links at the Brevard County Supervisor of Elections Office website,VoteBrevard.gov.

What misconception should voters know about?

Scott says one common misconception is you have to vote on every item on the ballot for your vote to count. This is not the case.

If you don't want to vote in a particular political race, skip it, and move on to the next item. If you just want to vote for one candidate, and skip everything else, you can do that, too.

Your vote will count for whatever you vote on.

How many people typically staff a polling place on early voting sites? 

11 to 13.

How about on election day?

10 to 15.

What is the total number of workers working on an early voting day? 

110 to 130.

On primary day?

Approximately 1,100.

How many polling places will be open on the primary day and how many precincts are there?

Brevard has 87 polling locations open on election day and 171 precincts. Many polling locations handle multiple precincts. 

What else can voters do on the Brevard County Supervisor of Elections Office website?

Voters can verify their voter registration status, update their party affiliation or get a map to their polling location through the website.

Dave Berman is business editor at FLORIDA TODAY. Contact Berman at dberman@floridatoday.com. Twitter: @bydaveberman.

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This article originally appeared on Florida Today: Here's what Brevard voters need to know about In-person early voting