SEBRING — Early voting has started in Highlands County.

Voting started 8:30 a.m. Thursday at three county locations, and will continue each day from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. until Saturday, Aug. 15.

So far, a lot of people have taken part with mail-in/hand-in ballots.

As of Wednesday afternoon, out of 63,654 active eligible voters, 6,844 had already cast ballots, accounting for 10.75%, according to the Supervisor of Elections Office.

For years, early voting has helped alleviate crowds on election days and has helped election workers start ramping up for the main events.

Supervisor of Elections Penny Ogg has also said that early election returns have also helped her gauge how much participation she would see in a primary — held this year on Aug. 18 — or in the general election — Nov. 3.

Right now, a qualified voter may vote early, in person, at the Kenilworth Operations Center, the Avon Park City Hall Council Chambers, or the Lake Placid Town Government Center.

A voter must present a Florida Driver License, a Florida Identification Card or another form of acceptable signed, photo identification to vote.

Voting locations are:

- Kenilworth Operations Center, 4500 Kenilworth Blvd. in Sebring.

- Avon Park City Hall Council Chambers, 123 East Pine St. in Avon Park.

- Lake Placid Town Government Center, 1069 U.S. 27 North in Lake Placid.

Early voting will not take place on the Monday before the Tuesday, Aug. 18 primary election. Get it done early, Ogg said.

Some of the larger polling precincts can have long lines on the official day, such as Precincts 4, 5, 13, 15, 16, 17, 19 and 25.

Check your voter registration card. If you vote at one of those locations and might have trouble waiting in a long line, consider voting early.

Fortunately, Ogg said, it doesn’t matter where you live. Any voter may use any of the early voting sites.

Those using vote-by-mail ballots may save postage and fear of a lost letter by dropping the signed and sealed ballot off at an early voting site. Drop boxes will be available.