Trump rally near early voting site in Tampa could cause delays at polls, officials warn

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Voters in the Tampa area may have increased wait times and traffic delays when headed to the polls Thursday, as President Trump is scheduled to hold a campaign rally within the vicinity of an early voting site in Hillsborough County, Fla.

Trump's rally will begin at 1:30 p.m. at the North Lot of the Raymond James Stadium, in the midst of the 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. time frame when voters can visit the site to cast their ballots. 

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Despite Republicans in other states protesting mascots and athletes from participating in expanded voting efforts and sports stadiums being used as polling sites, the Trump campaign is being allowed to proceed with their rally because it will be at least 150 feet away from voters, a spokesperson for the Hillsborough supervisor of elections said in a statement. 

Flordia statute prohibits campaign activities in the "no solicitation zone" surrounding voting sites, but officials said, "the rally and campaigners will be outside of this zone." 

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Hillsborough County, and the Tampa Sports Authority collaborated on outfitting the famed multipurpose stadium for early voting this year, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Election officials reminded voters that there are 26 other early-voting sites in the county that could have shorter wait times and less traffic brought on by Trump's presence. 

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The president has visited his adopted home state several times in the last weeks to ramp up support in a battleground state that will be crucial to his reelection efforts. 

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