TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Across the Sunshine State, polls have opened their doors for early voting, including here in Leon County.
New additions this year include drop off boxes and voting by mail amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Matthew Kopka takes pride in being an active voter, normally voting in person in Leon County.
"I felt very comfortable doing it," said Kopka.
With COVID-19 looming he felt voting by mail was the best option for him and his family.
"It's increasingly necessary given the fact that the nation is dealing with the virus," Kopka said.
Kopka is one of nearly 17,000 people in the county who have already voted by mail.
Monday, the Supervisor of Elections Office encouraged people to do just that, as well as use the dropboxes outside each precinct.
"We've had heavy uses of our dropboxes today," said Mark Earley, the Leon County supervisor of elections. "Take advantage of our dropboxes, take advantage of early voting now.''
Dropboxes will be manned at all times by a poll worker for security.
Leon County's League of Women Voters says the new dropbox process may change voting in the future.
"Several states, including the State of Washington, do all of their whole state voting by mail," said Sally Butzin, the president of the League of Women Voters - Leon County. "So this isn't unprecedented, other states have done it and do it very successfully."
People are still coming to vote in person with plexiglass barriers protecting poll workers and everyone mandated to wear masks inside.
The elections office alone saw more than 360 in-person voters by midday on Monday, adapting in a pandemic, giving people more ways to exercise their right to vote.
"We need to make it easy for everyone to participate in our democratic process," Kopka said.
Early voting in Leon County ends on August 16.
There are 10 early voting polling sites. For more information click here.