TAVARES – Early voting got underway with a bang in Lake and Sumter counties on Monday as nearly 6,500 people cast ballots in what Supervisor of Elections Emogene Stegall called “super good" turnout.

At the W.T. Bland Public Library in Mount Dora, Stegall said a line had formed before the doors had even opened, and at the Cooper Memorial Library in Clermont, voters showed up as early as 7:15 a.m. to vote. Inside the voting room there, workers were describing the day as the busiest they had ever seen.

On Tuesday, the flow continued and at the Public Library in Leesburg before lunchtime, a line was visible out the door.

“I’m pleased that people are getting out to vote. That’s what it’s all about and what we are ready for. We’re prepared for 100 percent turnout,” Stegall said.

Even so, Stegall said she expects a busy Election Day and the probability of even longer voter lines.

“The turnout is always higher during a presidential election, but this year has already started out a little busier. I don’t know what the difference is from four years ago,” Stegall said.

To make things go as quickly and smoothly as possible, Stegall encouraged people to bring a picture ID and signature with them and have items ready to go when they sign in. That can be a driver’s license, a Florida ID card, a student ID or other forms of identification.

She said voters can cast ballots at any voting site in the county where they live, regardless of their regularly assigned precinct, but on Election Day, they must go to their assigned precinct.

In Lake County, the hours for early voting are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day, including weekends, through November 5 at Cagan Crossings Community Library in south Clermont at Four Corners, the Cooper Memorial Library on Oakley Seaver Drive in Clermont, Eustis Memorial Library on Center Street, Lady Lake Public Library on Guava Street, Leesburg Public Library on Main Street, Minneola City Hall on U.S. Highway 27, W.T. Bland Public Library in Mount Dora, the County Administration Building on Main Street in Tavares and at the New Community Building on Ball Park Road in Umatilla.

“I think we will continue to have a good turnout each day through the early voting period and that helps keep the lines down on Election Day,” Stegall said, a belief that Sumter County Supervisor of Elections Karen Krauss shares.

“Between the mail out ballots and early voting, more than 50 percent of our voters will vote before election day,” said Krauss. “The lines are usually shorter during early voting, and if people come on a weekend day, it’s even better because it can get a little slow at times then.”

Early voting In Sumter County started Tuesday and will also continue through November 5.

Krauss said on Monday, she and her crew were busy setting up the voting sites and getting everything in place and ready to go.

On Tuesday when the doors opened, people were lined up.

By 4:30 p.m., 7.438 ballots had been cast, she said.

A TurnoutQuickView program, just installed Tuesday on their website -- under the brown 'Elections" box and TurnOut General Elections tab to the left of the home page -- allows people to keep track of votes cast by number, party affiliation, precinct and more.

“We’re having a tremendous day and we’re just thrilled, but I was expecting a huge turnout. For one thing, it’s a presidential election, but then Sumter County usually has a phenomenal turnout for early voting anyway,” Krauss said. “Plus I have The Villages and the people from there always make a good showing.”

Krauss said Sumter County voters also need to bring a signed picture ID and can vote from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Nov. 5 at one of six sites, including the Bushnell Main Office on Main Street, Laurel Manor Rec Center/Washington-Jefferson Room on Laurel Manor Road in The Villages, Allamanda Rec Center/Gardenia Room on S.t Charles Place in The Villages, the Sumter Co. Gov. Service Center on Powell Road in Wildwood, Tierra del Sol Rec Center on San Marino Drive in The Villages and the Rohan Rec Center on Kristine Way in The Villages.

“That gives people 12 consecutive days,” Krauss said.