By Samantha Joseph
STUART - Voters who want to take advantage of early voting to cast a ballot in the August primary will have two fewer days to do so, elections officials said.
Early voting opens Aug. 4, a Saturday, and continues every day until Aug. 11.
This means many residents will also have the opportunity for the first time to cast ballots on a Sunday.
Republicans participating in the presidential primary last January had their first exposure to the new rules from the state legislature. But as all voters are eligible to participate in this election, officials said they want to ensure everyone keeps the changes in mind.
"We're just really trying to get the word out to voters that there's been a change in the law," said Vicki Davis, Martin County's supervisor of elections.
"There's only eight days of early voting, so we're trying to educate all voters."
Early voting will take place only at the supervisor of elections office and not other polling stations. The office is located at 135 S.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., in Stuart.
The polls will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
As Florida is a closed primary state, registered voters can only cast ballots for candidates from their party.
All voters can participate in any race that only has candidates from one party, except if that race also includes write-in or no-party candidates.
About 4,000 people typically participate in early voting during the primary, Ms. Davis said.
The supervisor of elections expects 4,000 to 5,000 voters to participate in this month's election.
Her office is also encouraging early voting, having sent out more than 20,000 vote-by-mail ballots to residents.
Another campaign, which sent flyers to about 20 churches, encourages voters to take advantage of Sunday voting.
"On Sunday, stop by before or after service to cast a vote," Ms. Davis said.