Franklin County has echoed the voting patterns of the rest of Florida with a strong show of early voting.
A queue of registered voters greeted Supervisor of Elections Ida Elliott Saturday at the Apalachicola office as early voting began. A total of 289 voters cast their ballots that day, 150 in Apalachicola and 130 at the Carrabelle annex.
On Sunday, the numbers not surprisingly declined, to 76 in Apalachicola and 40 in Carrabelle, but they picked right back up on Monday, when 134 cast ballots in Apalachicola and 105 in Carrabelle. On Tuesday, 114 voted in Apalachicola and 61 in Carrabelle, bringing the total up through Tuesday afternoon to 818, 474 in Apalachicola and 344 in Carrabelle.
“Everything’s running smoothly,” said Elliott.
Early voting runs through Saturday, Nov. 3 in Apalachicola and in Carrabelle, with the choice of president highlighting the ballot. Those who want to vote early can do so in Apalachicola or Carrabelle annex, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. today and Friday, and Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Elliott said she doesn’t expect Saturday to do much business in Apalachicola, with the parade filling up downtown sidewalks. “We’ll be here,” she said. I think everybody’s going to have one thing on their mind and that’s the festival. There’s going to be a lot of traffic. They may do well in Carrabelle, I don’t know.”
Elliott said she expects the county to see upwards of an 80 to 85 percent turnout, bettering the 79.3 percent turnout four years ago. The county has 7,451 registered voters, of these 4,986 Democrats, 1,753 Republicans, and 712 either unaffiliated or with other parties, according to the supervisor of elections website, http://votefranklin.com where you can also review a sample ballot.
There are no countywide races or school board races at all, and of the five county commission districts, only two feature races on the ballot.
In District 1, which includes St. George Island and most of Eastpoint, incumbent Republican Pinki Jackel, 54, of St. George Island, is facing a challenge from Democrat Tony Shiver, 52, St. George Island.
In District 5, which encompasses portions of Eastpoint east to Carrabelle, Democrat William Massey, 52, of Carrabelle, is squaring off against Hank Garrett, 48, of Eastpoint, who is running without party affiliation. Massey defeated longtime incumbent county commissioner Bevin Putnal in the August primary.
In Congressional District 2, incumbent Republican Steve Southerland (Panama City) is facing a challenge from Democrat Al Lawson (Tallahassee).
In the race to fill the Florida House District 7 seat, vacated by Leonard Bembry, Liberty County Clerk of Court Robert Hill is running as a Democrat against Tallahassee nurseryman Halsey Beshears, the Republican candidate. In Florida Senate District 3, incumbent Democrat Bill Montford is running against Republican John Shaw.
Running for state attorney in the 2nd Judicial Circuit are incumbent Democrat Willie Meggs against Republican challenger Pete Williams. In the race for circuit judge of the 2nd Judicial Circuit, a non-partisan race, Josefina Tamayo is running against Barbara Hobbs.
Voters throughout the state will decide whether three members of the Florida Supreme Court, and four from the District 1 Court of Appeals. Eleven amendments to the Florida Constitution are before voters, with each needing at least 60 percent support for approval.
Also, Democratic incumbent Florida Sen. Bill Nelson is squaring off against Republican challenger Connie Mack.
Elliott said absentee ballots can be picked up during office hours, and all must be returned to the Supervisor of Elections office no later than 7 p.m. on Election Day.
One more thing, heading the items on the ballot is the race between Democratic incumbent President Barack Obama, and Republican challenger Mitt Romney.