Long lines for last day of early voting in Tampa Bay area

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Explain to me the sense of not extending early voting.

Those who waited for the final day to vote early in Florida are being greeted by long lines at polling sites around the Tampa Bay area.

It didn’t even pay to get up early today as about 400 people were already in line by 7:45 a.m. at the Bloomingdale Regional Public Library in Valrico, according to one account.

Wait times at one polling place in Westchase were up to 15 minutes by 7:30 and a line at Larry R. Jackson Branch Library in Lakeland extended to the street by 6:45 a.m.

Early and absentee voters are on pace to surpass the 54 percent of the total vote they comprised in 2008. As of Thursday, 3,464,182 votes had been cast by absentee or early voters, or 29 percent of the 11,934,446 registered Florida voters.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.