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Early voting begins across Tampa Bay this week

Voting is starting a little earlier than usual due to the coronavirus pandemic.

TAMPA, Fla. — Florida's primary is August 18, but early voting begins this week.

Normally early voting begins one week out from Primary Day, but this year it's earlier because of the coronavirus pandemic. Extending early voting will help alleviate the crowds and long lines at polling locations to help poll workers and voters practice proper social distancing.

10 Tampa Bay found that many counties are seeing a shortage of poll workers because many older workers are concerned about COVID-19. Hernando County has consolidated some polling locations to accommodate its smaller staff. Sarasota County has also moved some of its polling locations to temporary sites.

Polk County said some of the 1,000 poll workers they employ during the primary election are choosing not to work so they're searching for alternates.

Citrus and Hillsborough Counties are searching for poll workers and several alternates for the general election in November.

Monday marks the start of early voting in Hillsborough and Polk counties. On Friday voters in Hernando County can cast their ballots. For Pasco, Pinellas and Manatee counties, voting begins on Saturday.

For the Primary Election, early voting runs August 8-15. For the General Election, early voting is October 24-31.

You can vote in person or by mail. You can mail in your ballot or drop it off at your local Supervisor of Elections office.

Here's a county-by-county list of supervisor of elections' websites where you can find more information about voting in your county:

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