Changes Made to Voting because of Hurricane Michael

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Oct. 27, 2018 marked the start of voting in Bay County. Registered voters began casting their ballots for the primary election.

It can be hard to think of voting on an election while dealing with the damage Hurricane Michael left behind.
Megan Peters, a Lynn Haven resident describes what life is like for victims of a hurricane, “Our home was damaged and we had to evacuate the area. We lost all of the little things that make our life normal. All of our parks, our grocery stores. I’m a teacher and I haven’t been able to go back to work yet.”

“One of the things I hate to have lost is my charter boat. it sank over in Watson Bayou. That broke my heart,” said Dan Strickland, a Southport Resident

Although, Bay County residents showed that even a hurricane won’t stop them from voting. “Bay County voters are tough, they’re proud and they’re patriotic and they will show up,” said Mark Andersen, Bay County Supervisor of Elections.

Hurricane Michael put Bay County in an emergency state, which means elections are run a little differently this year. To make it easy for people to vote, “mega voting sites” a term created by Supervisor of Elections, Mark Andersen were created. These sites are open to all Bay County residents registered to vote. Voters can go to any site no matter where they live.

The supervisor of elections office worked hard to find 6 locations throughout the county that weren’t too damaged, or being used by FEMA, and other emergency services.

The mega voting sites are…

1. Stanford Station (near Hobby Lobby), 746 W. 23rd Street

2. Parker United Methodist Church, 908 S. Tyndall Pkwy

3. Panama City Beach Senior Center, 423 Lyndell Ln.

4. Lynn Haven Elementary School Cafetorium, 301 W. 9th Street

5. Palo Alto Church of Christ, 3119 N Highway 231

6. Supervisor of Election Office, 830 W. 11th Street

Many people showed up on the first day of voting to make their voices heard.

“I think voting is so important especially in a situation like this where our government is going to be stepping in to obviously help out our local community, um I want a voice, I want a say in who is making the decisions on behalf of us and my family,” explained Peters.

“I like to express myself you know, and you can’t do it at the ammo box so you need to do it at the ballot box,” said Strickland.

The mega voting sites are open everyday through Nov. 6, 2018 from 7 am to 7 pm.
 

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