The election season begins Saturday with the start of the 10-early voting period leading up primary Tuesday Aug. 26.
Gulf County voters will have 10 days to be the early worm for the fall election season, with primary elections in both parties, local, regional and state, as well as universal primary and a non-partisan election.
Just bring your identification.
“All they really need is a photo and signature ID,” said Supervisor of Elections John Hanlon. “We are geared up.”
A universal primary occurs when all candidates running for a single office are from the same party. In such instances, there is no primary and all voters cast ballots on that race, which is decided in the Aug. 26 primary.
That is the case for the District 4 seat on the Board of County Commissioners.
Sandy Quinn is challenging one-term incumbent Commissioner Tan Smiley.
Whoever emerges the most votes Aug. 26, and all voters in that district can cast ballots, will sit in the District 4 chair the next four years.
The non-partisan race is for the District 2 seat to the Gulf County School Board.
All school board races are non-partisan in Florida, meaning there is no primary and all District 2 voters can cast a ballot in the race, which pits political newcomers James Taunton and Brooke Wooten in a race to succeed George Cox, who is retiring.
The other local race of note is in the Republican race for the District 2 Board of County Commissioners seat.
Tom Semmes, who won the GOP primary four years ago, faces Vicki Adkison Armstrong.
The winner will face one-term incumbent Commissioner Ward McDaniel, a Democrat, and former commissioner Billy Traylor, running with no party affiliation after losing to Semmes in the GOP primary four years ago, on the November ballot.
Beyond those races, primary voters will see an array of races for Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Florida Attorney General, as well as a primary for Circuit Court Judge.
Early voting continues through Aug. 23 and is held at the Supervisor of Elections Office, 401 Long Avenue, in Port St. Joe and the Charles Whitehead Public Library meeting room in Wewahitchka.
Each weekday, early voting hours are 7:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. ET (6:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. CT).
On the two Saturdays, Aug. 16 and 23, hours are 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. ET (7 a.m. until 4 p.m. CT).
On the one Sunday, Aug. 17, hours are 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. ET (9 a.m. until 5 p.m. CT).
Voters in Port St. Joe are urged to park along the Fourth Street entrance to the Supervisor Elections Office and use the new early voting entrance.
“Whatever location you have set up for early voting that becomes a polling place,” Hanlon said. “Now we have created that separate polling place (in Port St. Joe).”
Early voters are asked to park in front of the early voting door on Fourth Street or park on Long Avenue and walk around to the early voting entrance.