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An unidentified person takes pictures of the surf and fishing pier on Okaloosa Island in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018, as Hurricane Michael approaches the Florida Gulf Coast. [Devon Ravine/Northwest Florida Daily News via AP)

Florida to bend voting rules in counties hit by hurricane

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida is going to bend some of the voting rules for voters living in counties hammered by Hurricane Michael.

The administration of Gov. Rick Scott announced Thursday that eight counties in Florida's Panhandle can start and end early voting beyond existing deadlines. Normally, early voting is supposed end the weekend before the election.

Additionally, the state is going to make it easier for people displaced by the storm to receive and send ballots by mail.

Hurricane Michael roared ashore last week and left a trail of ruin for 80 miles, from the Gulf of Mexico to the Georgia state line.

Under Florida law, Scott could have postponed the election beyond Nov. 6, but there's is an open legal question on whether that authority would extend to federal races.

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