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Orange County is opening two new early voting places in Paramore and Eatonville

Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Orange County’s Supervisor of Elections Glenn Gilzean is opening two new early voting locations in Paramore and Eatonville to encourage voting in the two historically Black communities. The new polling locations are opening in response to so-called voting deserts in Paramore and Eatonville.

The new sites will be ready ahead of the August primaries: one at Eatonville’s Town Hall building and the second at Life Orlando’s Heart of West Lakes Wellness Center. Eatonville is the oldest incorporated Black municipality in the U.S. and Paramore is a historically Black community.

Orange County’s Supervisor of Elections Glenn Gilzean made the announcement on Juneteenth. He told Central Florida Public Media’s Engage that it highlights the importance of the holiday.

“It has a significant historical meaning to it. But an addition to that, it gives everybody in Orange County an opportunity to be able to cast their ballot and extra location,” said Gilzean.

LaVonda Wilder is a member of Eatonville’s Chamber of Commerce and said early voting will allow for people to plan ahead of time to cast their ballots.

“The convenience will also offer choices,” Wilder said at the announcement Wednesday. “We can choose to vote as soon as we know who we want to vote for. Early voting has also transformed the way that families vote. I love voting early -- voting with my daughter, taking a picture, getting our sticker and posting that we have voted.”

In addition, Gilzean said he is hopeful that the community will recognize the two new locations as an opportunity for voters to have greater access to the election process.

“Looking at adding on additional sites will also help relieve some of the pressure that we anticipate to occur during the primary and general election,” Gilzean said. “This is a very important election, and I think our community's going to show up and show out and in droves. And my goal is to make sure that everybody has ample amount of time to implement or locations to let their voice be heard.”

Marian is a multimedia journalist at Central Florida Public Media working as a reporter and producer for the 'Are We There Yet?' space podcast.
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