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Early voting winds down in Palm Beach County, Treasure Coast

LAKE WORTH BEACH, Fla. — Early voting is coming to an end from Palm Beach County through the Treasure Coast.

People are casting their ballots on everything from Democratic governor nominees to school board seats.

For a family from Lake Worth Beach, early voting was a family affair.

"When you turn 18, the first election you get, I believe it's a really good choice to vote," said Alyssa Sirleaf, who voted for the first time. "It's important to be able to have your voice heard."

The family of three all cast their early ballots on Friday and said they were in and out within five minutes.

"It was just really fast, much different from the last time I voted. I love the new system. It was really great," said Heather DePetro, Alyssa's mother. "We're going to be out of town next week and it was her first time voting, so I wanted to be with her and have that experience for her."

Early voting ends Saturday for Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee and St. Lucie counties.

Voters in Palm Beach County have until Sunday at 7 p.m.

"So things are going smoothly, but we'd love to have more voter turnout," said Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Wendy Sartory Link.

She said as of Friday they have less than 14% of voter turnout and are hoping to get more voters over the weekend and Tuesday.

"Although it's a primary, which always has a little lower turnout, it's still a very important election and we want people to get out and vote," said Sartory Link.

As people cast their ballots, places like the Guatemalan Maya Center in Lake Worth Beach are calling on members of the minority community to cast their vote.

They said, according to the Census numbers since 2020, there's been an uptick in Hispanic people in Palm Beach County and Lake Worth Beach, as well as indigenous Mayan community members.

"We want the people to vote, we want to register them, and we want them to organize their community and stick up for themselves," said Lindsay McElroy, executive administrative assistant at the Guatemalan Maya Center.

The center has now partnered with the Hispanic Federation to help register people to vote, including many first-generation voters.

"Oftentimes, kids might grow up not knowing about politics, but they can represent their families and they can represent their parents," said McElroy. "Where their parents might not be able to vote, they have that voice, so it's very important they use it."

Guatemalan Maya Center employees said they've seen more people registering to vote because, they said, it's become more accessible to do so.

"Voting is just the first step and the people need to vote now, but past voting, they need to make sure they stay involved and they need to make sure they hold their elected officials responsible," said McElroy.

The center serves families from more than 28 different countries.

As of Friday, it's too late to mail ballots, but voters can still drop them off at polling locations. To find out where to cast a ballot before early voting ends or to learn more about the races, click here.

Read full article on WPTV here.

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