A day after a judge struck down Florida’s ban on early voting on college and university campuses, the Gainesville-area supervisor of elections asked the University of Florida to make its student union available for early voting in the November general election — including on a day when the Gators have a home football game. In addition, Tampa’s chief elections official, Hillsborough Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer, said he has begun talks with USF leaders about holding early voting at the Marshall Student Center on the campus. The developments come as both parties prepare to mount aggressive get-out-the-vote efforts in a year when Floridians will elect a governor, U.S. senator and other top elected officials and decide whether to restore the right to vote to most convicted felons and ban offshore drilling off the Florida coast.
Holding early voting on major college campuses could increase voting among students. Alachua County, largely because of UF’s commanding presence, is an overwhelmingly Democratic county, and the much larger Hillsborough leans Democratic.
Alachua Supervisor Kim Barton sent a letter to UF President W. Kent Fuchs, expressing her interest in using the J. Wayne Reitz Student Union for early voting for up to 14 days and checking on parking, security and sign issues.
“It is my responsibility to provide every voter in Alachua County access to an early voting site,” Barton told UF. Read Barton’s letter here.