Early voting kicks off in Florida, more than 475K mail-in ballots already cast in Central Florida

Video: More than 475,000 Central Florida residents have already voted by mail

ORLANDO, Fla. — With just a little more than two weeks until Election Day, early voting begin all but one Central Florida on Monday.

Early voting in Sumter County starts Tuesday.

For people who decide to vote early, they will see markers on the ground to help them maintain social distancing.

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So far, more than 475,000 people in Central Florida have voted by mail.

Already more people have returned mail-in ballots in Flagler, Lake, Marion, Sumter and Volusia counties than in the entire 2016 general election.

Video: Amway Center in Orlando to be used as early-voting site for the first time

Around 119,000, or one-quarter, of those have been cast at the Orange County Supervisor of Elections.

Part of the difference this year is accessibility.

Drop boxes are already outside elections offices across Central Florida, so people can just drive up and return their ballot.

Many residents said worrying over the coronavirus was a big motivation for them to vote by mail.

But it’s anxiety and concern about making sure their ballot makes it to the county elections office in time that has many skipping their mailbox and dropping the ballot off instead.

Every supervisor Channel 9 spoke with shared stories of people even recording themselves dropping the envelope into the box.

One woman said she just isn’t taking any chances.

“It was very important to do that because pictures are worth a thousand words. And when you don’t have that, it’s like one person’s word against another,” said Orange County voter Latina Cubrezi. “So I wanted to make sure I documented with the date and time.”

Everyone who drops off their ballot while staff is working has been given information about tracking their ballot.

That way, they can see when those were received by the office.

In some counties, voters can even sign up for text notifications, so they 'll know if they need to resolve issues like signature mismatches.

Early voting ends Sunday, Nov. 1.

See your county’s early voting times below:

(WFTV.com News Staff)

Click here to see Channel 9′s voter’s guide.