TAMPA, Fla. — Voters in five Florida counties are going to the polls and casting ballots in the presidential primary.
Early voting began Monday in Hillsborough, Hardy, Hendry, Monroe and Collier counties, five days ahead of the South Carolina primary. Early voting begins in Florida's other 62 counties on Saturday.
A new state law shortens the number of days early voting is allowed in Florida, but the law isn't being applied in five counties because of prior racial discrimination. A federal court is deciding whether the election law changes should be implemented statewide.
While Monday was the first day votes were being cast in person, thousands of absentee ballots have already been cast. Ballots were sent to military personnel and overseas voters in mid-December and to other absentee voters beginning Dec. 28.