Many Brevard County voters are getting a jump on casting ballots for the Aug. 28 primaries.
The in-person early voting begins Saturday at eight sites in Brevard County, and runs for eight days. But more than 25,000 Brevard voters already have cast ballots by mail.
Here are 10 things to know about early voting and the upcoming election:
When is in-person early voting?
It runs from Saturday, Aug. 18, to Saturday, Aug. 25, with polls open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekends and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays.
Where is in-person early voting?
It is at eight sites throughout Brevard County.
Voters can vote at any of the early-voting sites, regardless of where they live.
The eight sites are:
• Catherine Schweinsberg Rood Central Brevard Library, 308 Forrest Ave., Cocoa.
• Irene H. Canova Park Clubhouse, 2285 State Road A1A, Indian Harbour Beach.
• Kiwanis Island Park Doyle Carlton Room, Pavilion, 951 Kiwanis Island Park Road, Merritt Island.
• Max K. Rodes Park Community Center, 3410 Flanagan Ave., West Melbourne.
• Palm Bay Elections Office, 450 Cogan Drive SE, Palm Bay.
• Titusville Elections Office, 400 South St., Suite 1-F, Titusville.
• Viera Regional Community Center, 2300 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Viera.
• Wickham Park Community Center, 2815 Leisure Way, Melbourne.
What are we voting on?
There are a total of 22 races on the ballot: 10 that only registered Republicans can vote on, five that only registered Democrats can vote on, and seven nonpartisan elections open to voters in any political party or voters with no party affiliation.
What is on your particular ballot depends on where you live.
All Brevard voters can vote in a nonpartisan 18th Judicial Circuit Court Group 24 judge race and a Brevard County Group 5 judge race.
There are statewide Democratic primaries for governor, attorney general and commissioner of agriculture.
There are statewide Republican primaries for U.S. senator, governor, attorney general and commissioner of agriculture.
What are some of the closely watched races?
• With no incumbent in the governor’s race — as the term-limited Republican Gov. Rick Scott is running for U.S. Senate this year — both the Democratic and Republican gubernatorial primaries are being closely watched. There are eight Republican candidates and seven Democratic candidates.
• There are three County Commission primaries drawing attention. In District 2 — where incumbent Republican Jim Barfield is not seeking re-election — the GOP primary matches up Bryan Lober and former District 2 County Commissioner Chuck Nelson. On the Democratic side, it’s Victoria Mitchner vs. Jack Smink in District 2. In District 4, incumbent Republican Curt Smith faces a GOP primary challenge from Trudie Infantini, a former District 3 county commissioner.
Two Republican Florida House primaries also are attracting attention. In District 51 — where incumbent Republican Tom Goodson is term-limited — the GOP contenders are Henry Parrish and Tyler Sirois. In District 52, incumbent Thad Altman is being challenged by Matt Nye.
• A total of nine candidates are running for three Brevard School Board seats in nonpartisan races.
• A total of seven candidates are running for two Palm Bay City Council seats in nonpartisan races.
Will there be any races decided in the primary?
Yes. With only two candidates in the nonpartisan Circuit Court judge race between Adam Pollack and Melissa Souto, the winner of the primary is the overall winner.
The same is pretty much true in the nonpartisan Brevard School Board District 1 race between incumbent Misty Belford and David Meader, although there is a write-in candidate, too.
The other nonpartisan races — for County Court judge, Brevard School Board Districts 2 and 5, and Palm Bay City Council Seats 4 and 5 — each have more than two candidates on the ballot. But if a candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote in those races, he or she is the winner. Otherwise, the top two vote-getters would go into a runoff election on Nov. 6.
How will I know what’s on my ballot?
Voters will be receiving a sample ballot in the mail this week.
They also can go to votebrevard.com and click on the “Sample Ballots” section of the homepage to print one out.
Brevard County Supervisor of Elections Lori Scott recommends that voters use the sample ballot to decide how you want to vote before you go into the polling place. You can bring marked sample ballots into the polls to help you remember how you want to vote. However, you may not leave them in the voting booths or show them to other voters in line.
You will be asked to present a current and valid form of identification that includes a photograph and signature, such as a Florida driver’s license or a U.S. passport; or two separate forms of ID which together contain this information.
If you do not have proper identification with you, Florida law allows you to vote a “provisional ballot.”
You do not need to have your voter information card in order to vote. In fact, your voter information card is provided solely to verify your addresses and to inform you of your polling place and district assignments. This card is not required at the polling place and cannot be used as identification.
How many people are expected to vote?
Scott said, based on past trends, about 25 percent to 28 percent of the 415,562 eligible voters actually are likely to cast ballots in the primary. That would be 103,891 to 116,357 people.
What percentage of the people who will vote in the primary will vote early?
Scott said she expects 50 percent to 70 percent of them to vote early, either by mail or by in-person early voting.
How does voter registration break down by party?
Of the 415,562 voters eligible to vote in the primary, there are 174,727 Republicans; 128,916 Democrats; 108,113 “no party affiliation” votes; and 3,806 members of minor political parties.